Such a perfect day - Shawn Loughlin editorial
For the second installment in what I guess will be a loosely-connected four-part series on turning 40, I wanted to really focus on a recent Sunday at the Loughlin home that felt like one of the best days of my life.
There was nothing special about the day, aside from whom I spent it with, but it really felt like a day full of what I’ve always wanted my life to be. Jess and I spent the whole day with Tallulah at home. It was beautiful out (locals will remember that it felt like 30°C that day, sunny and warm, sandwiched in between the rain, snow and wind of recent weeks) so we could spend much of the day outside.
Tallulah is walking rather steadily now, so she spent much of that time motoring around the neighbourhood. She went around our house a few times, then up to the end of the block and back and through our backyard to the next street over a few times that day. We saw the horses next door and caught up with some neighbours along the way, all while Tallulah puttered around, picking up sticks and leaves and blowing kisses to everyone she saw.
At the end of the day, after we’d put Tallulah to bed and Jess and I were working away at dinner (and lunch preparation for the coming week) we both said it had been a great day. I told her that days like the one we’d just had were all I’d ever wanted in my life.
Of course, the life of our little family isn’t perfect. None of us have won a Nobel Prize recently or earned enough money to buy a social network, but that’s not what that Sunday was about. It was about spending time with loved ones and the quiet moments of love and happiness we should all be so lucky to have.
As I say that, I wonder if that day - April 24, 2022 - will stick out in my memory years from now. It may not, if I’m being honest. If we’re lucky, that day will become just one of many days just like it. However, as of right now, it sticks out for its simple perfection.
Jess and I have been watching Tallulah grow over nearly the last two years and, because we see her so much every day, it’s happened right under our noses. Seeing her walk around her home and interact with her neighbours was heartwarming for us to see, especially since we know how much they care for her.
Walking alongside Tallulah bobbling around her block was fun for us, just to see how far she’s come; what catches her attention, where she wants to go and what she wants to do. It also made me proud to see just how much she’s learned since those early days as a tiny little baby who spent most of her day sleeping.
I take great pride in my effort to be a good husband to Jess and a good father to Tallulah. I know that it’s not easy to be those things and many people fall short. I’m doing all I possibly can to not end up as one of the ones who doesn’t make it. On that day, everything felt right, like it had all come together for us.
As I approach the aforementioned milestone birthday, it’s reassuring to have days like that; to feel as though things are getting better, not worse. Again, not to make it sound like life is destined to fall off of a cliff in a few weeks, but it’s just heartwarming to feel this way as I enter this new stage of my life.
I think Jess and I have both come alive as parents. I know for me it certainly feels like this is what I’ve always been meant to do with my life. Surely Jess feels the same. She is a natural mother and I’m not the only one to observe that about her.
Days like the one I’ve mentioned have really made my life worth living, even if they are simple and, frankly, largely uneventful. I’m so happy to have reached this point in my life.