Mom, Come upstairs and look! But close your eyes.
It's nearing five o'clock on a Wednesday, and as I climb the stairs - with my eyes open - it is like entering a new world. The landing catches the late afternoon sun, filling the hallway and the bedrooms with gentle, dappled light that makes me want to sweep the girls into its embrace and dance on the beds. Yeah, I'm channelling a combination of Emma Thompson in Much Ado About Nothing and some dreadful 1980's- era commercial for laundry soap - but in that one moment, the world is perfect and full of possibility.
I'm in the middle of making dinner. Dinners plural, actually - a couple of lasagne's from last night's surplus spaghetti sauce that I will freeze, and chicken fahitas for tonight. In between, I am answering questions about weight measurement for Erik who is finishing homework, and drafting a couple of scenes for my work-in-progress novel.
But when I reach the top of the stairs, that golden light reminds me of where my priorities lie, and I put it all aside to close my eyes and let the girls lead me to their bedroom window. The curtain is pulled back with a flourish to reveal a window of fairies in all shapes and sizes and colours, adorned with sparkles of fairy dust. I am - as always - amazed at their creativity and enthusiasm.
I have seen it now, could return with their blessing. But I am strangely drawn to the world they have created, and instead sit down with them, show them how I used to draw fairy houses when I was their age - toadstool houses with hidden doors in the stem and cunning little dormer windows disguised in the spotted caps.
The light fades quickly this time of year, and it's gone before we can cut out the first toadstool. Some literary part of my brain thinks there is a metaphor in this, but before I can even form the thought, Carpe Diem, I change my mind.
We always talk as if the moment is to be seized - as if it's trying to escape. At times this may be true, but I think it lets us off the hook too easily. Sometimes the moment is just there, hovering, waiting to fall gently into our busy life, and we just don't let ourselves see it. Fairy Dust, looking for a place to land.