“Small hours” or How the Disgusting Changing Table Made Me Cry

It is very hard for me to cry in front of anyone but my husband. I tend to hide my emotions and try to be strong. I hide away when I’m hurt.  I break down in private or have small moments here and there.

The moments and the emotions hit me at the weirdest times. I went to Barnes and Noble with my brother and sister-in-law last Thursday to pick up a present for Max. I had been at Barnes and Noble with Max and Lucy exactly a week before, on my birthday. I knew it would be hard, but I wanted to go. Got to rip off the Band-Aid some time.

We went to the train table. I did fine picking out the gifts, but wanted to move away after that. That’s where my little train fanatic always wants to go at B&N. Too many memories.

We all kind of wandered away from each other and I walked around looking at the books while I had a chance. I have always loved to look at all the wonderful books there are to read. I love the look and smell of them. In fact, that same Barnes and Noble was one of the first places I went after I found out I was pregnant with Max. I wanted the baby to feel the wonderful way I feel when I’m around books. I even told him that.

But my body just felt heavier and heavier as I walked around. I finally sat down in the mystery section. I closed my eyes, but then I just looked at the books towering over me and felt a bit comforted. I was surrounded by old friends, dream worlds I could visit to escape the pain.

Suddenly, I looked to the left, towards the bathroom and thought, “Changing table. I have to go to the changing table.”

So, I got up, walked over there, and walked in. The first person I encountered was my sister-in-law drying her hands. We smiled and then I saw that the stall with the changing table was taken. Sort of. There was a backpack hanging on the hook. The owner was standing at the mirror doing her makeup. I went into a regular stall to try to wait, but she was still there when I came out.

Seriously, lady?? You’re going to hog the stall when you’re not even using it??? I need to commune with my daughter at one of the most disgusting changing tables ever!

I politely asked if she minded if I used the stall and she graciously moved her bag. I went in, locked the door, pulled the table down from the wall, and let the tears well up. The stinky changing table made me cry.

I had so many moments with my two kids in that stall. We went to Barnes and Noble to play with the train table all the time. It was an easy activity for a mom with a toddler and a newborn. I changed some really disgusting diapers in there. Max embarrassed and amused me in there. (I probably shouldn’t say how. He might not want that on the Internet someday.) I felt heroic and utterly defeated at the same time after wrangling the two of them in there. Plus, I just knew she had been there. I could feel her there, as ridiculous and gross as that sounds. That changing table was one of the few places I really let myself feel my loss during that first crazy week. And it was such a relief.

I bit back the tears after a moment, as is my way. I didn’t want everyone in the store to know I had been crying.

It’s those moments. The frustrating, disgusting, mundane ones. I never knew those moments in that bathroom would come to mean so much to me. But they do. Or maybe I just thought they would be a source of laughter, not tears.

“Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas is one of my favorite songs. I still remember the moment I first heard it in the car. (Back when I still listened to the radio!) I considered it for the first dance at our wedding. It was on the playlist when I gave birth to Max. (Lucy came too fast to even think about music.) This week, it has provided so much comfort. Those small hours at the disgusting changing table provide comfort. They matter.  I want to share it with you now.

I will write a post about the service soon and probably share the eulogy on the blog. For right now, I will just say that it was everything I hoped it would be. I think we honored Lucy properly. I just feel love for her when I think about it. Today has been harder. I have felt a lot of sadness and anger. But, honestly, I am glad I am finally giving myself a chance to feel those things. It is a relief.


Let it go,

Let it roll right off your shoulder

Don’t you know the hardest part is over?

Let it in,

Let your clarity define you

In the end

We will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made

In these small hours

These little wonders,

These twists and turns of fate

Time falls away

But these small hours

These small hours

Still remain

Let it slide,

Let your troubles fall behind you

Let it shine

Until you feel it all around you

And I don’t mind

If it’s me you need to turn to

We’ll get by,

It’s the heart that really matters in the end

Our lives are made

In these small hours

These little wonders,

These twists and turns of fate

Time falls away

But these small hours

These small hours

Still remain

All of my regret will wash away somehow

But I cannot forget the way I feel right now


In these small hours

These little wonders,

These twists and turns of fate

Yeah, these twists and turns of fate!
Time falls away,

Yeah, but these small hours

And these small hours still remain,


Ooh, they still remain

These little wonders,

Oh, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away

But these small hours,

These little wonders,

Still remain

Lyrics courtesy of http://www.metrolyrics.com/little-wonders-lyrics-rob-thomas.html.

Performed and written by Rob Thomas for the Walt Disney film “Meet the Robinsons”

The English major in me won’t let me print this without acknowledgment. Plus, it’s probably illegal to do so.





  1. Barbara Leffingwell said,

    May 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    My heart is right there with you, Sara…

  2. debi shaw said,

    May 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    thinking of you, Sara…. and Chris….

  3. kittymomma said,

    May 24, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Thanks to you both.

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