There are moments in our lives that glow, like magic.
It's almost as if time stands still, just for a minute or two, while we take it all in, realizing that something important just happened.
There has to be a way to hold on to the moments, though, as the golden glow fades.
Of course, there is. They're called "memories."
Every once in a while I think back on some of those moments, that glowed golden to me.
Like, sitting on the couch at Amanda's "grown-up" apartment, with her head on my lap, stroking her hair until she fell asleep. How many times did I do that when she was just a little girl? And, how lucky am I that she still enjoys - and needs -the motherly attention.
Anytime either of them stepped foot on a stage ... the glow followed them, and I never wanted the performance to end.
I remember a summertime when both kids were home - that's been years, now. Every day I'd come home from work, there would be the two of them, sitting side by side on the couch, heads together, watching episodes of "Lost" on a computer.
How lucky they have each other, I thought.
And that time Leland told us, "You guys really rock the empty nest thing!" Or better yet, when he called recently to thank us for our support of his acting career. "I couldn't have done it without you guys," he said.
Imagine the important moments we miss, the ones we don't focus on, that ones when we don't notice the glow ... lost forever.
We're busy. We're distracted. We're doing a million things at once. We are caught up in the day-to-day rush.
It's easy to miss something.
I guess that's why the advice "cherish every moment" is something veteran parents share with new parents all the time.
This past year I gathered up more than 1,000 photographs from Amanda and Leland's childhood, and had them scanned and placed on a disk. Then, I created a calendar for both of them and for me using hundreds of the photos.
Maybe some of those photos will jog some memories, reminding us all of something special.
While I probably can't get all the golden moments back, the 2012 calendar is a good place to start - in more ways than one.
- Phyllis R. Sigal is design editor at The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and designer of Ohio Valley Parent. She is the mom of Amanda, 25, and Leland, 23. Her email address is email@example.com.