How To Make the Sun Stand Still

January 28, 2011 | 16 comments

She throws her arms around my neck and lifts her feet clean off the bathroom floor. And we nearly tumble in a heap of limbs and terrycloth.

I steady my balance with one slippery hand on the sink and curl toes to grip at something, anything for balance. But what? Slick tiles? A bathroom rug?

She’s not letting go, and she’s shaking with laughter, throwing her head back. Her arms hold me, hold time.

This is just a moment, slippery.

I want to stay steady. Right here. Long as I can. I keep toes curled. Because I’ll grasp for anything — even hard ground underfoot — to make the world stop spinning, just this once, instead of hurling us around at 1,038 miles per hour.

God made the sun stand still for Joshua . Would God bring this spinning rock to a creaking halt for me, too?

I let loose of the sink, grip her tight, and we’re on a ballroom dance floor. Lord, don’t let the song end. I turn circles, dizzy in love. Daughter’s limbs tether bodies. And I — toweled mama, crazily off-balance — can hardly hold on to it all.

I live half-afraid it will slip through curled toes.

She’s six now, and it won’t be long until I won’t be able to hold her like this. Before long, she won’t leap at me like that anyway. Sometimes, even now, she calls me “Mom” — not Mommy or Mama like she used to.

I steal my reflection in the bathroom mirror, and catch the wide smile, the wet hair flying. A little girl cheek, milky soft, presses against mine. Her whisper tickles my ear, “I love you, I love you, I love you…”

The mama face in the mirror, … is she crying?

And the little one won’t stop saying it now: “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

Her grip tightens, and then — Mwock, Mwock, Mwock — she kisses my salty cheek again and again.

And again.

I hold the moment tighter, and I don’t want this to end, and I beg her: “Never stop kissing your mama, OK?”

She stops, looks at me like I’ve just said the most absurd thing ever, rolls her eyes, and asks why would she stop loving me the way she does?

She scoots up higher on my waist and commands me: Dance, Mommy! (She calls me Mommy.)

So for now, we dance. Under a stopped sun, in time suspended, we dance.

Anna and her reflection, at kitchen window.

by | January 28, 2011 | 16 comments


  1. A Simple Country Girl

    Love this miss Jennifer!

    And these kids are such ministers of joy. Just the other day my 7-year old boy grabbed my waist and one hand as he yelled, "Let's do that fango thing!" So we tangoed back & forth across the floor til we giggled ourselves silly.

    Dance on, sister!


  2. deb

    oh, this is it exactly.

  3. Dawn

    It will never stand still; in fact it will rush by faster and faster. But a Mama's gotta try.

  4. RCUBEs

    Times like those…so precious…And it does slip through our hands like how sand would…

    So tender…so loving…

    God bless you and your precious family…Have a great weekend sister.

  5. Ann Kroeker

    You just slowed it down, just now, in this post. Writing the moment, capturing it–it doesn't stop anything, but you made it so you can revisit it again and again.

  6. Debra

    Amazing post, one that took me back twenty five years ago to my own 6-year-old daughter, back to the days when I, too, tried to stop time, but always it felt like sand slipping through my fingers.

    But I kept trying; I'd sit on the couch and watch my daughter in her world of play and I'd memorize her, every detail and how the moment felt–I'd capture it all. But oh–still–the years sped past, though I consistantly tried to slow them and just this week she celebrated her 31st birthday.

    But the best part? Each year has its own treasures, its unique pleasures and now I have a collection of thousands of beautiful times with my daughter. May you have the same… Blessings, Debra

  7. Monica Sharman

    My 9-year-old still calls me Mommy!

    All this mwock-mwock love…it's the thing that gets the sun moving again, too. (For me, time has been too slow sometimes.)

  8. Joan Davis

    Beautiful! The days of my little girl holding me like that are a distant sweet memory, but the love I have for and from the grown woman she has become is even sweeter. Children are a blessing from God! Thank you for sharing, Jennifer!

    Living for Him, Joan

  9. Amy Sullivan

    Sweet, sweet post. I want to grab onto these moments with both hands.

    I don't know if I've ever seen a picture of your sweet Anna.

  10. Laura

    Sugar and spice and everything nice…

    how I love this, Jennifer.

  11. Megan Willome

    It doesn't stop. It just changes.

  12. Jennifer

    It's these sweet moments we want to keep. They're so beautiful to dance with aren't they? Lovely images, Jennifer.

  13. elaine @ peace for the journey

    A beautiful, painful reminder of just how fast time flies through our hands… and our arms, but not without a mental photo or two to hold within our memories.

    My youngest is 8. She's grown to big for my "picking her up." Still and yet, she'll snuggle on the couch; occasionally I make her sit on my lap and put her head on my shoulder just like she used to as a baby. She laughs; I remember, and then the tears usually fall.

    Oh to stop it all for a few moments and bottle it. I suppose in some small way, that's what we're doing when we chronicle these milestones with our words. Not only do I want my children to remember when, I want to as well!

    Blessed week to you and yours on the farm. will you be having "Bob" for dinner? Oh my…


  14. David Rupert

    Another astonishing post. These kids have a way of making us … think

  15. Jeanne Damoff

    Beautiful, Jennifer. I love this.

  16. Erika

    these words you wrote -my heart. thank you.


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