The Best Day of my Life?

Christine Lavin is singing a song about a 3 year old named Katie who says today is the best day of her life.

I paused in my proofreading to wonder what was the best day of my life?

I’ve had many great days, some ideal, but the single best day of my life? That’s a tough one. Obviously the list will include our wedding day and the days Kate and Robbie were born but the moments were great, the entire days, maybe not so much. After all, wedding jitters, rain, the entire delivery process…these are not what most people would think of as great ways to spend the hours. Sharing in the their triumphs, from plays to graduation ceremonies have also been highlights.

A great day, to me, would be one that from beginning to end was filled with moments that brought pleasure and joy, where everything went as planned or if they were spontaneous, arrived in good ways. There was one day during the Christmas season about a decade back that I thought was the perfect holiday day and intended to jot down the events as a record of the day, but time passed, I never got to it and now I cannot recall what made the day ideal just that it happened.

Great days have been doing things with the kids, such as the first day on one of our last family vacations, when these teenagers asked to go the Bronx Zoo then insisted on including a visit to the Children’s Zoo. There have been great days when it has just been me and Deb such as the time we took a day off mid-week and just drove north, meandering through small towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts just to see what we could find.

During my professional career there have no doubt been really good days that were just mine. A surprise birthday party in my office, thrown by friends outside of DC, is certainly part of that list. Being able to sit and interview legends like Chuck Yeager or cute actresses certainly make for happy memories.

But a single greatest day of my life? Boy, that’s a tough one. What about you?

8 comments

  • Susan O

    Just one? No idea. Wedding would be one, birth of my first another. The miraculous day we received an unexpected check in the mail that exactly equaled the unexpected 4-digit bills that floored us the previous week? I think most of them would include Joe – the days he speaks, or does something where you realize the depth of understanding that’s trapped within, or otherwise rises above his disabilities. It makes you realize the best things in life aren’t the earth-shattering ones in Imax Dolby (though winning Powerball would certainly rank up there), but the little daily snapshots that last maybe only seconds, but add up to a picture much richer and deeper. Those are the ones we tend to hold dearer, and thus remember more fondly.

  • Howie

    Ahhh, but as the song goes along, the narrator discovers that, for little Katie, EVERY day is “the best day of my whole entire life!”

    Little kids (and dogs) have that special ability to live in the moment (“Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?…”). For kids, every hug or cupcake is probably special. For dogs, every meal or treat or new toy is the BEST ONE EVER!!!

    As we grow up, most of us seem to lose that ability. We’re so busy juggling the complexities of life, still thinking about what happened the other day, or worrying about something coming up next Thursday, that we find it hard to enjoy THIS moment. And even if we do enjoy THIS moment, we have a hard time making it last.

    If anybody’s figured out the secret to refreshing our ability to appreciate special moments that might contribute to the feeling that every single day is “the best day of my whole entire life,” I’d love to hear it!

  • Jenny from Australia

    Oh, yesterday ranks up there among my best days ever.
    Got up, got my daughter to her dance scholarship classes on time, went into the city with hubby to see Avenue Q. Loved the show! Had dinner in the city, took our time coming home and were not too rushed any of the day. And best of all, I got to sleep in this morning, as I’m on leave for a week. Yay.
    BTW I object to people who say that your wedding day should be the best day of your life. Surely it should only get better from there on? Otherwise it’ll all be downhill from there

  • Bob, Thorton Wilder, a mind far sharper than mine, grappled with this question in “Our Town” –indeed, it’s the play’s theme–and provided the answer for me: “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?” I’ll take what Emily takes in the play: an ordinary day, because that’s astonishingly special, as Wilder shows so poignantly.

  • Coincidentally, Sammi and I were talking about the concept of “the best day of your life” the other evening after hearing someone say it on TV. The problem with declaring such a thing is, how would you know until you reached the very last day of your life which one was the best? Because if you aren’t at that point and announce it’s the best day of your life, aren’t you saying that all the rest will be downhill from there?

  • Jenny:
    I actually did a wedding toast along those lines, since I thought the idea that it was all downhill after the wedding was pretty horrifying. The bride and groom got it. I’m not sure the other guests did. Similarly (to me) declaring the day of a child’s birth the happiest day suggests that children are much better as fantasies than they are in reality.

    Bob R.:
    I agree. But I’m also having trouble singling out a single day as the best of my life even so far. I’m not married or a parent, so I don’t have those obvious milestone days to select from.

  • bob a

    Well, I remember a day before any of us got attached. We were at a Con at Dulles’ Hyatt, I believe. We spent the day immersed in fandom, got to talk at length with the mighty Kelly Freas, met some hugely teriffic people, and attended dinner with Bob and Howie at the local szechuan.
    To quote “Groundhog Day”-
    “That was a pretty good day… why couldn’t I have THAT day – over, and over, and over”

    Bob ( the SYD)

  • Jerri

    I think the best days are those that just evolve, hour by hour, making us feel content and calm… an example for me is one ordinary wintery Saturday morning – my daughter called and asked if I could drop off milk to her since her car was being fixed… so I did, and sat for an hour playing with the baby twins… then 10-year-old Katie came home from a sleepover and wanted to show me a paper she was working on for school, so I helped her with that… then 8-year-old Jake claimed me to watch a movie, so we all ended up in a huddle under a fleecy blanket watching the movie… one peaceful, loving moment turned into another, filling up the day… yep! That’s my idea of a best day…

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