A knock on the kitchen window takes me away from preparing supper.
The kids want me to watch them outside, so I head up to my office for a better view, and grin as they take off running and jump onto sleds. They zip down our backyard hill and tumble off giggling at the bottom.
I am so grateful for these two little lives in mine, these moments to share.
In a strange sort of coincidence, I came across an old article about Florida as we plan a trip for our own children.
The other day my father dropped off a binder he found that I had had as a child. Flipping through, I came across this Disney planning page that I must have kept (I always did like planning!) as we prepared to go there when I was 11. I had not seen this binder in at least 20 years.
Now, it is a reminder of the anticipation I felt at the time, and which my children are feeling now.
A neighbor has a beautiful sledding hill.
Kids drag their sleds up the steep incline and wait their turns to come flying down. Sometimes they tumble into the deep snow before they make it halfway down; or they shout with victory when they reach the bank at the bottom.
It is good, old-fashioned winter fun, and of course I had to try it a few times.
My children’s delight made it worth every tumble.
We had been hearing snippets of Christmas songs at home, lines practiced but not shared so as not to spoil the surprise.
We arrived early so we could sit close to watch our children in their school Christmas concert.
A Christmas cup song and rocking jingle bells were executed without a hitch.
Seeing our son and daughter on stage is the sweetest thing.
My children were desperate to try the swings. These high-flying, terrifying swings at the indoor amusement park.
You wouldn’t catch me up there.
After several visits over the years, they are finally old enough. Holding my breath, I watched them being swung and spun out into the air above. I thought I might be sick just from watching.
But when I caught sight of their ecstatic faces each time they passed overhead, I decided it was worth it.
We had just gotten in the door when I heard squealing from the kitchen.
“MOM!! Come see! There’s a rainbow in the house!”
And so there was.
As clear as anything, a pretty rainbow looked as though it had been painted up the wall and over the ceiling. We were captivated.
The sun was striking a CD we had left on the counter, creating this incredible phenomenon. It lasted only a few moments; we were lucky to have arrived at just the right time.
I’ve never much been one for bedtime stories.
By the time bedtime arrived, especially when my kids were small, reading a book was more of a chore than a sweet nighttime routine. I was always exhausted and as ready for bed as they were.
Besides, reading books in our house always meant questions. My children engage in books – and for that I am grateful – but this has never allowed for a quiet story before sleep.
Earlier in the day though, I am happy to read. With children now aged 8 and 10, I am incredibly thankful that they still enjoy having an occasional book read to them.
Plus now, they sometimes read them to me.
10 Ways My Children Help me to be in the Moment
1. The moments my son and daughter were born. I didn’t know what it meant to be in the moment until then.
2. Giggles. No matter what I am doing, hearing giggling children makes me smile.
3. Hugs. Those little arms around you, the smell of their hair, that no-greater-love-on-earth feeling. How could I think of anything else when hugging my child?
4. Checking on them while they sleep. The day’s stresses simply vanish when I watch them in dreamland.
5. Tantrums. There is nothing like a wailing child to make you forget everything else!
6. Dancing. If you can call it dance. More like jumping around the room and flinging my arms in the air with my kids. But the music is on and the moment is carefree.
7. Reading books together.
8. Imaginative play. I never tire of listening to their creative dialogue and make-believe lands.
9. Playgrounds. Swinging is just plain fun.
10. Goodnight kisses.
There is so much to see while driving: the road a crevice in the landscape of trees, the expanse of blue sky above, snaking rivers below.
I enjoy the ride as much as the arrival.
Music and conversation fill the car. Scenes slip by on either side of the road.
The moment I loved the best on this ride was the music coming from the back seat: Our children singing a duet from “Teen Beach Movie”. My husband and I sat grinning in the front seat while they sang song after song, word for word.
This is the moment I will remember.
It rained and it rained and it rained.
A dreary, wet, dark day. Certainly not my idea of summer.
But just before dusk, the sun found a way through the clouds and turned the light gold.
For a minute, I stood with my children and just looked at the light.