06 June 2011

Love the Little Things

I've been so unbelievably busy lately, and I just can't believe how quickly this year is flying by.  The school year is coming to a close, and as my daughter is so fond of telling anyone who'll listen (although I'm not so fond of hearing it), she'll leave school on Thursday as a first grader.  I'm still not used to being the parent of a kindergartner, much less an "all grown-up" first grader!  Add to that all the emotions of my son turning one a few weeks ago and I'm sure you'll understand why I'm desperately holding on to every small moment I can.

I make a conscious effort to always be there for my kids.  I know everyone does, but I mean that I try to put aside what I'm doing, because really and truly, it usually can wait.  There will come a day when I will want nothing more than my kids to want to hang out with me .... so why not savor every chance I get right now?

This past week in particular has been tough.  My son is teething and adjusting to some new supplements that upset his tummy.  All he wants is momma.  And my daughter has suddenly decided that her heart's desire is to spend one-on-one time with me.  And I've had a custom order to make (for those of you that don't read the other page on my blog, I make handmade paper crafts), articles to write, and other design deadlines to meet.

My daughter came to sit with me the other afternoon and for a few minutes she colored some images I stamped for her (I was coloring, too).  She moved on to building a tower with her brother's blocks, then she said she just wanted to sit and watch me. Dingdinging!!!  I knew she wanted some serious attention. I walked away from my work, and we went outside to swing.

She's been working on the whole how-to-pump-your-legs thing all school year.  She's been trying really hard, and sometimes she gets it.  More often then not, however, she gets frustrated and wants someone to push her. I sat on the swing next to her, and gently encouraged her.  We giggled and laughed; every now and then I told her to do what I was doing.  Before long she proudly exclaimed, "I'm doing it! I'm swinging on my own!!"  She loved the way the wind felt in her hair - I loved the sound of her confident laughter and delight.

Later that night, when I was changing my son's diaper before bed, she came into his room and said, "Momma, thank you for teaching me how to swing."  I will never, ever forget those beautiful blue eyes and her darling freckles as she looked up at me with an enormous grin on her face.  Since that day we've had a picnic lunch outside, and spent lots of time swinging.  We've enjoyed laughs and giggles and I love that I'm not missing the little things.  I've lost count of how many times she has thanked me for teaching her how to swing.

The time spent with her outside this weekend having a picnic, swinging, and laughing until our sides hurt - I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.  Does it mean I'm a bit more pressed for time with work than usual?  Absolutely.  But how much would I have missed if I had stayed at my desk working, and let her play outside without me?

For instance, take a look at the butterfly in the picture above.  It flew all over the yard, and landed right next to us on my son's swing.  It stayed there for probably five minutes before it flew away - but it felt like an hour.  And once again, I was present to witness the joy and wonder of that butterfly through the eyes of my daughter.

I recently read the book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey.  It's a wonderful missive on the importance of being aware of the minutiae ... and what you might be missing if you aren't.

I love being present for the little things. How about you?

As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own. You can read other members' posts inspired by The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating on book club day, June 6 at From Left to Write.

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