Ever since my little Hayley was born, we have had many “magic moments” together. We refer to them as magic because they are special moments we have shared together over the years that have significant meaning to us. They have been daughter-father bonding moments for me. Often times we talk about these times and reflect back on them. Every once in a while, we’ll both remember one of them and refer to it as “one of our magic moments.” We are always seeking to add to our collection.

It all started when we were out playing at Daybreak Lake on the east end of the Salt Lake Valley. We had been sitting on a couple of permanent chairs that sit along the east shore. We had been there for a while watching the many birds floating on the lake. I was going to get up to go but she said to wait a little longer. Suddenly, hundreds of birds took flight and shot off from the lake. The sky was swirling with birds flying in every direction. It was cool outside with a light breeze and the view was spectacular. We’ve often said, if Hayley hadn’t asked to sit for just a little while longer, we would have missed that magic moment. From then on we pinpointed magic moments as we had them and reflected back to earlier times that we could categorize as a “magic moment.”


1) One early morning, I was sleeping in my bed and Hayley came in and without saying a word, jumped up and snuggled with me. I believe she was 4 or 5. There was a little light cast on the wall behind us and without saying anything we both lifted our hands in the air and started creating a shadow puppet story on the wall. We did this for quite some time until we both fell fast asleep in the wee hours of the morning. No words. Just beautiful communication. The early morning lighting was perfect.

2) A couple of mornings we decided to get up early to experience the sun coming up. The first time I had to get my tires rotated on my car so we went early to the tire shop and parked the car facing the East mountains. We slowly watched the long shadows on the building around us move quickly as the sun crested over the top of the mountain. The second time, we got up early, went in the backyard of my parent’s home in Draper, Utah and sat on a bench in the cool summer morning air. We let the sun slowly warm us as we just watched and listened to the stillness of the morning as the sun moved across the valley until it hit us. We waited until its whole sphere was above the mountain line and could actually feel its warming impact on us.

3) One time we came down the stairs at home just as beautiful fireworks were being shot directly ahead of us at the nearby park. We planted ourselves on the bottom step and leaned on each other as the sky filled with amazing colors. We had no idea fireworks were in order so we stopped and enjoyed them.

4) One summer evening, we were at the park as we had been so many times before and I was pushing her on the swing as she was giggling her guts out. It was getting late but she wanted to “stay longer,” so we did. It was one of the amazing nights where the sun is going down in the West and the moon is rising in the East. She was facing the moon as I pushed her and I was facing the sun as she swung back towards me. We both noticed it — it was another magic moment. She slowly rocked back and forth to a halt and we stood there watching the two orbs take turns passing the night sky from one to the other.

We’ve had more. Maybe I’ll come back and capture more here as we have them and as we remember them. The beauty is, they are gifts of life we both share. I’ve had them with each of my kids, with family, and with amazing friends. It is something we get to create and experience with people. We are lucky to find magic moments when we look for them. They are different than just moments, they happen when we are in the right place at the right time. Since the “birds took flight moment,” Hayley has inspired me to be in those right places at the right times so we can experience many more magic moments through life’s journeys.

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