My father always told me that the big things in life, like holidays, celebrations, and vacations, are wonderful and should be treasured – they are the bricks.
He also taught me that these moments are not the most important. The most important, he liked to remind me, are the small ones, daily life’s unsung heroes. These, he said, are the mortar – the mortar between the bricks. It is what holds it all together.
When he first told me this, I was in my 20s and found it interesting;
in my 30s, I found it helpful;
in my 40s, I found it wise.
And today, when I think about these words, I find them essential.
Milestones are like this – the bricks and the mortar. The firsts are always the bricks; yet, as these firsts become part of a child’s life, they become the routine, the everyday, the mortar: car rides to and from school, eating a meal together, walking the dog, setting the table…there may not be photos of these moments – they are, in essence, the in-between spaces in an album – but this is what lives are made of – the small moments that hold it all together.
Bricks and Mortar. These words have never left me.