Tiny Moments

When Daniel, soon-to-be 6-year-old, was working out math problems on the whiteboard, I reached out, straightening the collar of his special “dress-up favorite” shirt. I’ve straightened and tidied his clothing on many occasions, but this one gave me pause.

In that tiny moment of straightening his little-man plaid corduroy shirt, my mind wandered toward the future, straying from the Lord’s command to not worry about tomorrow.

Instead, borrowing trouble, I wondered if there would some day be a special woman in his life, a wife, to take my place, having a care for him in this manner, straightening an untidy collar with a tender touch, smoothing it gently into place.

I was struck by how, of all the ways women show love to men, the straightening of a collar, or the patting down of an unruly placket, is in many ways, the most tender and intimate of all. Hugs, kisses, and gentle pats on the back, pale in comparison to what that one tiny moment conveys.

Images of my fingers straightening my father’s suit collar, while he steeled himself to walk into his father’s funeral, flooded back through my memory. His tear-filled eyes turning to me, as he whispered, “Thank you”, conveyed everything to me.

I’ve straightened and tamed my own dear husband’s collar a number of times, whispering, “there….you’re all set”. He never fails to look me straight in the eyes, taking my hands for a moment to say “Thank you”.

So it was with my son this morning. Normally, his Autism sensory issues would cause him to leap away, at the slightest touch. But this morning he stood firm, letting me straighten his collar, my fingers brushing his neck. “There”, I said, “you’re all set”.

“Thank you, Mommy”, he said, turning to look me straight in the eyes, as if there was a wisdom hard-wired in his male soul that knew what the moment had meant – that no other words or actions were necessary. Our hearts knew….


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