The days are long but the years are short, someone once said, and I have heard repeated so.many.times.
But, it's true, isn't it? Some days, especially ones where the kids are home sick, or it's the 2nd week of winter break, you take a peek at the clock - it says 2:27pm - and you let out a big sigh because, OMG, it feels like 7:30pm, and shouldn't the kids be going to bed right now?
I find this especially true when the kids are little. They need you and sometimes this just feels like way too much. Your emotional well may be a little parched: always giving, holding, enveloping this developing person who completely relies on you.
But what happens when they don't need you (as much)?
Those snuggles, sitting on your lap, clinging to your leg when introduced to someone unfamiliar, singing bedtime songs, and holding hands become cherished moments. My children are 11 and 7 now - how the heck did that happen? - and I LOVE that they still crave to be read to at night, snuggled next to by either myself or my husband, and recounting their days' adventures long after the lights have been turned out. What if you had tangible memories of these moments? Do you know how to create and capture them?
Snag this guide full of tips to get your started on your observational journey...
WHAT I MISS MOST
Their voices, chubby bodies, awkward gait, being carried, s.l.o.w. walks down to the corner restaurant, brother and sister holding hands on long car rides…
Big eyes, dirty hands, the girl’s obsession with cherry tomatoes, things only toddlers say to you, bubble bath explosions, the boy knowing the names of ALL construction equipment when he was 2. The FIRSTS: teaching them how to tie their shoes, write their names, play simple games, first day of school, saying “I love you”. Riding bikes down the hill so fast my heart was in my throat, my daughter’s elaborate drawings and stories: so many moments, filling my heart.
Where do you find yourself on this continuum?
Maybe your kids are still little and you are just surviving some days, while cherishing the moments that clearly present themselves. But, what about the times you don't see, what about the things you forget about? How do you take it all in? Life is busy. You are busy. Your kids are busy. Friends, it doesn’t get simpler as time goes on. Memories become fuzzy as new ones are created. Don’t let busy-ness get in the way of what is most important in life: your connection to a joyful family.
My intent isn't to make you feel guilty or overwhelmed (anymore than you might be already), because parenting is a tough gig and we are all in it for the long haul. You are doing a GREAT job! I just want to plant the tender seed of collecting and cherishing moments so that when your kids are older, they have the opportunities to dig through those loose photos, an album, or laugh at videos when they were just wee ones.
In fact, this just happened last night with my son. Dear dad showed him some photos and videos when he was a baby and C's response was, "Awwww, look at how little I was, can I see when I was 1?" This went on for some time, with full body laughter, heartfelt smiles, and maybe some sublime surprises. I am SO thankful to have documented his life and not just the milestones.
Here's to the many chapters in your life as they develop! If you haven't already downloaded the free guide, here it is! It's full of goodness and helpful tips to get you observing in ways you wouldn't think of.
All my best,