No Words Necessary


Today is a day that I need to leave for work earlier than normal. Which means I must wake my son up instead of waiting for him to call from the top of the steps.

I am always a little hesitant when I have to do this because I never know how my son will react. Will he be angry that I have taken him from his beautiful slumber? Or will he upset that we have to rush our morning routine?


I walked quietly into the bedroom. He had moved to our bed in the middle of the night so I had plenty of room to lie down next to him. The blanket was only half covering him and he was wearing just a diaper. But he was comfortable. More than comfortable, he was serene.

I must have made more noise than I had intended because he turned his head ever so slightly and looked at me with warmth that can only come from a child. He did not say a word, nor did I. At that moment words would’ve served no purpose. At that moment we just were. But we were together.

I allowed him to gradually wake up, but I waited for him to speak the first word. I had nothing to say. Lying in bed, rubbing my son’s back as he joined the waking world, I realized that this was one of those moments that Jeff Goins wrote about in his wonderful book The In-Between.

In his book Goins eloquently inspires the reader to focus more on life’s unsung moments because that is where the magic happens. He reminds us that too often we look for the grand, when it is really the small moments in between that capture our heart forever and move us in ways we never expected.

This morning’s moment with my son was unexpected and it was beautiful. It was a moment that will stay with me forever. I believe that these types of moments happen often with loved ones if we are simply present enough to notice them.

But they must be earned. For trust never comes free and it never comes easy. And while many of these moments take place in our homes, there are also many that take place in schools everyday.

The teacher across the hall who never has to raise her voice because her students for some reason “just listen” to her.

Or the teacher whose students come to his room to eat lunch each day just because “they want to”.

Maybe even the principal who the day after suspending a child has that same child run up and give them a hug.

You see it’s not about the words. It’s about something much more than that.

What started as a retelling of a beautiful moment with my son, has turned into an epiphany of sorts. I think I have just now realized something. I think I have just now figured it out.

Those people who we encounter in our lives that seem to have a way of making those around them feel safe. The people who have the biggest impact on others don’t have any secret formula and they don’t have a magic wand.

They simply show through their actions and through their being that they are going to care about others more than anyone ever thought possible. That is it! That is what makes children feel safe. That is what earns those moments.

No words necessary.


  1. Wonderful……as always. I love reading everything that you write. Every time I read one of your posts I learn things and I end it with goose bumps. This is an excellent story about an excellent observation. Thank you!

    Oliver Schinkten

  2. That was definitely a touching and memorable moment with your son. I’m sure that will be in your memory bank forever. I like how you used that as a segway to your epiphany. Jon you are absolutely correct, the little moments need to be treasured. Each day we as educators remember the grand. Sometimes it is the “good” grand and sometimes it is the “bad” grand. Sure would be nice if we focused more on the little things.

    I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing.


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