We are on a road trip.
In my recollection, this is when it begins. Whether or not this is true is irrelevant. I'm telling the story. The way I remember it, we're in the car for a long time so we're conscious of the clock. We distract ourselves by looking for alphabet letters on license plates and listening to the radio, but we are all the while cognizant of the miles and minutes ticking away, bringing us closer to our destination.
Someone--probably Katherine--notices the clock has a double number. "Look!" She says. "It's 8:08. Make a wish." So we do, closing our eyes for a brief instant and thinking of a silent hope. And so it goes at 9:09 and 10:10 until we get to 11:11. This, we decide, is the time for the Macdaddy of all wishes.
I look around at my family and say, "I love you and you love me. My wish has already come true."
Who knew my off the cuff comment years ago would create a special significance for 11:11 in our family. If Paul is at work and he notices the time, he'll email me. On a busy chore-filled Saturday morning, the kids pause at 11:11 for a family hug. 11:11 has become synonymous with "I love you."
Today is November 11, 2011. 11/11/11. At first the kids are upset that we won't all be together at 11:11 this morning. I tell them the beauty of today's special date is that we can say 11/11 anytime at all today and it will always be true. Tonight, the calendar is free of social plans and obligations. On 11/11, I'm going to stay home with the people I love.