Sometimes the camera just can’t capture my most joyful moments. The other day, Maggie was playing with Elvis’ toy mouse. The sunlight was streaming in the faux stained glass window in our living room and bouncing off the carpeted stairs leading up to the bedrooms. Maggie jumped and rolled and tossed the mouse with glee that is rare considering her shy personality.
When I noticed her playing, I pressed pause on the TiVo, which disrupted her play. Just knowing that I was watching her play was enough to stop the festivities. It was as if she was some sort of sub-atomic particle refusing to both play and be observed at the same time. There was no way I would be able to film her. She wouldn’t even let me watch her.
Elvis peeked around the furniture trying to catch a glimpse of her playing with his discarded toy, but she noticed him. Sid pretended not to watch her play by lying his head down on the carpet, but kept an uneasy eye on her the entire time. With an audience of three, it was too much for her bashful nature and she abandoned the mouse on the third stair next to the scratching post.
The total time she played with the mouse was maybe twenty seconds before the three of us stopped our respective activities and watched her in amazement. Twenty seconds of pure and unadulterated joy washed over us and we drank it in as much as we were allowed. No time for cameras. Not even enough time for Elvis to retaliate. Just a beautiful outburst of bouncingly playful happiness that was impossible to capture on film. I thought to myself, “I’ll just have to remember this.”