A Friday ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
My days are full of “must remember this” moments, moments that I hope I will be able to recall twenty years from now when I am an empty-nester and I have all day to myself.
Cuddling with my three Littles as the early morning light streams in through the window.
Listening to The Munchkin prattle on endlessly, with her lisp and her smile.
Drinking the watered down coffee that The Dancing Queen proudly made just for me.
Teaching The Princess how to grate cheese.
Hearing The Bookworm sing in her sweet voice the song she just wrote.
Watching The Boy mime entire battles in the backyard.
Playing peek-a-boo over and over and over (and over) again with The Fraggle.
These moments. I don’t ever want to forget them. And while there is the myriad photographs that I have taken to help jog the memory, and the home videos, as well, I am afraid that it will all fade from my mind. And so I am in the business of enjoying each of these moments to the fullest. Savoring my time with my young children before they grow up. I feel the temporary-ness of this situation. I have a twelve year old already, and it seems only yesterday she was crawling around the house on all fours. It goes so fast. So fast. I don’t want to miss even a second.
While I know that all sounds so poetic, so picturesque, so unrealistic, I am here to tell you that we do have not so nice moments, too.
Washing dishes to the sound of the living room being ransacked.
Cleaning up poop when someone didn’t make it to the potty fast enough.
Refereeing fights and begging them to “please just act like people who love each other”.
Saying the same things over and over and over and over and over and over…….
Sure, every day has those moments too. But I think I might miss those someday, as well. I was made for this job and “Mama” is all that I ever wanted to be.
One day my house will be clean. One day I will finish row after row of knitting uninterupted. One day I will wash a load of laundry or two and be done. One day it will be quiet in this house. One day I will be free to jump up and go when I want, eat whatever I want without sharing with six other people, and take a nap at any hour of the day. And that will be lovely.
But these moments now, these are my priceless treasures. Each day that I spend enjoying my little ones is a gift. Each moment is so precious. The good ones and the less good ones and even the frustrating ones, they all come together to make up a mosaic of the good life. Life with Littles.
On Saturday we started a new family habit. We turned off all the electronic devices and spent the day together.
We played Legos together. I declared a challenge to everyone to build a self portrait. I totally got the giggles when my self portrait turned out with crazy eyes, wild green hair, and a crooked smile. We built forts and space craft, we built cars and weaponry. We built a great memory.
We colored. I put a pile of graph paper on the table next to the box of crayons and set the creativity loose. We had wild scribbles, maps of imaginary lands, and fair isle patterns (can you guess which one was mine?). We sang while we colored – we sang patriotic songs like “God Bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner”, and then we sang old hymns and like “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain”, and we sang fun kids songs like “Ho Ho Ho Hosanna” and “Jesus Loves Me”. We created a memory.
We had some down time. The little ones went down for a nap and everyone did something quiet. There was reading and knitting and writing going on. The Man got a little nap in. There was a nice, quiet lull in our day.
Then we had to eat something so The Munchkin, The Princess, and The Dancing Queen helped me make an early dinner – chopping, mixing, pouring, grating… We all ate a delicious meal. Then the other half of the family (The Man, The Bookworm, and The Boy) cleaned up the kitchen.
For the rest of the evening we played games. Mouse Trap, Bananagrams, Mancala, and Don’t Spill the Beans. We laughed and hollered. We hooted and cheered. We had so much fun. We made some great memories.
Being a homeschool mom, I spend everyday with my kids. We do a lot of stuff together, too. We do our school and our chores, we eat every meal at the kitchen table, we go everywhere – always together. But I often forget to enjoy our time together. I get absorbed in getting this done, or getting through this day, or making this goal. I easily get distracted by Facebook or writing this blog or surfing Ravelry or checking my email. I don’t always have fun with my kids. I don’t always enjoy being together. So this was an excellent exercise in slowing down and making each moment of the day count.
We didn’t spend any money. We didn’t go anywhere. We didn’t do anything that we don’t already do all the time. We just did it together. A deliberate family day. An excellent new family tradition.
So, don’t look for me online on Saturday. I will be busy making memories with my family.