My daughter likes the phrase, “I win!” If she spots more punch buggies? “I win!” If she drops the final heart in Crazy 8s? “I win!” Last night we were eating ice cream and as I finished first (because c’mon, no one is going to beat me at THAT!), I chirped, “I win!” She smiled, finished her mouthful of creamy chocolate and replied, “When it comes to sweets, I like to savor.”
It was a proud parenting moment, hearing my seven-year old describe her efforts so succinctly. It lingered in my mind as she continued on her dessert: Savor. Saaaaaaaaavor. The word invites us to stretch it out, a languid onomatopoeia that is in no hurry to get to its final syllable. In fact, when it’s blurted too quickly, its meaning is lost — think of a small victory that is met with, “savor the moment”, which calls to mind impending defeats rather than the present-tense triumph. Savor is slow and deliberate, a celebration of the moment, an escape from the swirls of action and energy that we too often accept as the pace of our lives. My daughter has it right — when it comes to ice cream, and to so much else, there is no victory in “I win!” The key is to savor.