Without words

This week, the lovely Varda, from The Squashed Bologna: a slice of life in the sandwich generation, takes center stage here on Small Moments Mondays.

I could go on and on about what a beautiful writer Varda is, but I will keep my words brief, because I want to ask a favor. Please go visit Varda, read her writing, writing that manages to make deep wounds beautiful.  Her strength is extraordinary and her honesty is paramount to her writing.

I’m pointing you to more posts than usual, but trust me, they are all worth the read and each sheds light onto the magic that is Varda.

Thank you, Varda…I am truly appreciative of this story of small moments.

Okay, I kept it short.  So, please go and read What’s the word?, Nearly Finished Business, From Autist to Artist, Regarding a Table Half Full, and A little Respect.

Without Words — by Varda

I was completely thrilled when Nichole asked me to be a guest for her Small Moments Mondays series of guest posts.  Actually in the nature of true disclosure here, I asked  and then she told me she had been planning on asking me, so it was kind of a mutual decision to dance together.

I love Nichole’s blog, her voice gentle and strong at the same time.  And her guests are awesome, my blogging heroes, I’m blushing at the company I’m now keeping.

I thought: “This will be easy, I live for the small moments.”  In fact, I had asked Nichole because at the time I was writing a post that felt like a SMM post to me, and the light bulb had gone off that maybe I could ask her if she would have me.

But then I ran into a world of trouble, because while I may live for the small moments, I tend to blog about big ones.  Every post I started, including the one I’d thought “perfect” blossomed into a big sprawling mess that ended up encompassing life, the universe and everything before it was done.

Pretty much the polar opposite of a small moment.

This is my perverse brain at work.  What was I thinking?  Me?  A small moment person?  I stared my blog to avoid being crushed between my father’s impending death and my son’s autism.  Big topics, capitol letter topics: Autism and Death.

But I so didn’t want to disappoint Nichole, to leave her high and dry.  (Boating metaphor here people, get your minds out of the gutter.)

So then I thought: why don’t I see if I can get my perverse brain to work in reverse, go for the opposite?  I’m going to try to write a big universal, philosophical piece, and maybe it will turn out to be about a small moment.

I would love to tell you that’s how I got to this post, because that would be so poetically perfect, but unfortunately, I can’t say that’s the case. That particular post is still evolving, turning into a really interesting musing upon what our society will look like in 20 years when all these kids on the spectrum are adults, how our world will have to change to embrace and accommodate them.

I’m very excited about seeing where it will lead me.  So, thank you, Nichole.  But?  Damn!  Still no perfect small moment.

And then, because it was getting to be very close to my intended Monday, I made myself just sit down, empty my mind and let it be still for a moment.  Not easy for a jumping around, ADD brain like mine.

I am a talky, wordy, word-loving person; a ruminating rambler.  Silence and stillness do not come easily to me.  Even in my still times I will be reading.  While outwardly quiet, I am filling my head with other people’s words.

But my small moments, my truly precious ones?

Often come without words.

They are my son Jacob’s weight on my shoulder as he snuggles and snoozes against me on the long subway ride home from an exhausting day at his wonderful new school, where they see his potential and gently push, push, push him.  I kiss the top of his head, inhale his sweet boy scent that will all too soon turn into something more manly.

They are when my son Ethan, always on the go, will suddenly whirl and pounce at me demanding: “Lap hug!” and fold his ever growing body into mine. He still buries his face into the crook of my neck as I wrap my arms around him, is still my little boy, for a little bit longer.

They were the way I sat in bed next to my dying father, when he was way out to sea, far beyond words, and very gently stroked his skeletal back, helping him to keep sleeping; touch his only comfort, his only tether still to this world.

I began my blog writing about my father’s impending death,

and my son’s autism.

All very big moments.

But the lessons therein?

Were about cherishing all the small, sweet moments,

that can flit by so quickly,

especially to the perpetually distracted,

like me.


  1. Yuliya shesuggests.com

    Oh you see you've done it! Precious moments perfectly memorialized. Look forward to reading more.

  2. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com

    I think small moments are big moments. I applaud you.

  3. Alexandra174

    I have been following Varda for a year now, not sure how our paths crossed. I always enjoy each of her posts. And she has a strong blogging voice. One I enjoy, because she makes me think.

    Excellent choice to take her up on her request to be here, she bring so much force with her, a strong, good force.

    I really do like here. And I'm a lot like her…..I'm easily distracted and have to constantly tell myself to shut my eyes and ears to other things.

  4. SquashedMom

    A thousand thank yous for having me, Nichole. And a thousand apologies for torturing you. Love to you, always.

  5. I wrote an essay long ago about Winston Churchill after seeing his home. And I was overwhelmed by a life full of Big Moments. Every, single thing…a Big Moment.

    And it disoriented me. My life is mostly small moments – the big ones are the punctuation, not all the words.

    But sometimes, Varda, I think you are so right. We look to the big moments, we define ourselves by them.

    But for those of us who are not Winston Churchill, the small moments are what make our days and fill our evenings.

    But it is a beautiful reminder that sometimes we need to remember to see them.

  6. Mad Woman adiaryofamadwoman.com

    While I could never write a comment at beautiful as the above, I can say thank you Nichole and Varda. It is just what this whirling durvish needs, something to stop her in her tracks and recognize the smaller picture.
    Thank you Nicole for introducing me to a wonderful and talented writer. I look forward to getting to know her.

  7. KLZ taminginsanity.com

    That flitting you hear? Is why Small Moments Mondays is so important – thanks for the contribution to my sanity. And the reminder that it really is all about the snuggles.

  8. CDG

    Varda, that was just beautiful.

    Thank you.

  9. ksluiter

    This is SO TRUE. I love how you put this into words, Varda. I start to write about big things that happen in our lives…but since Nichole started SMM, I have started to watch for the small things in everything so I can capture those rather than just tell my readers what has happened to us. I want to SHOW my readers a couple moments in my life.

    You have magically done that here. That which I strive to do, you put into words right here. Love it.

  10. Varda – I will follow you anywhere. Your posts are always beautiful and lyrical and magical, and you've done it again here. I found Nichole's blog thru a friend after her post about mother, which had me in tears remembering my father. It's no surprise that the two of you have found each other. You are both amazing women of strength.

  11. Beautiful! I must check out your blog. You sound a lot like me, in the wordy, constantly thinking way.

  12. kris

    I love Varda and I love Nichole.

    To see you both here today? A lovely awesome surprise.

    I don't always write about small moments in great depth, but when I do? I always think of Nichole.

    And Varda? So happy that you were able to take a breath and see that the spans of time between the big moments that scream for our attention in huge glaring neon?

    Are lengthy strings of smaller moments that glow like fireflies.

    A metaphor I believe I have borrowed from one of your posts, Varda.

    Love you.

  13. Sandra Guirguis

    Absolutely lovely Varda, as always. Thanks for reminding me to pause and cherish the small moments =)

  14. Beautiful. Small moment are big moments. Treasure them always.

  15. Sherri oldtweener.blogspot.com/

    This is beautiful, and really rang true with me. I get so caught up in some things that I can't see the small moments at all….just the big, crazy stuff. So reading this made me feel normal, and I loved being pulled into your world for a bit.

    Very lovely post, Varda.

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