Sometimes I think about what life would be like if Carl or I were to die unexpectedly. That may sound morbid, but it isn’t something that makes me really anxious as much as it makes me thoughtful. Kids are highly adaptable and have very short memories, and I know it wouldn’t be long before I was pretty much forgotten, a mere shadow of memory, replaced by whatever caregiver stepped in to fill my role, at least for the younger kids.
Since this blog is in many ways a small record of and for our family, I thought it should include simple snapshots of things we did on a regular, non-exciting basis. Not special holidays or crafts, not outings and milestones, just everyday moments. This goal is what Monday Moments has always been based on, and that’s why they aren’t going anywhere. These are the things I know we won’t remember on our own, because they aren’t unique, or emotionally charged, or otherwise memorable; they’re everyday.
But the blessing of the everyday is what is truly special to me, the quantity time more valuable in the long run than the quality time. Yet these are the things I too often forget to photograph, and these weekly posts remind me to pull out my camera and capture the sweet, crazy, unique, developing personalities of each of the little people I get to spend my days with. Sure, there are plenty of squabbles over whose turn it is to choose a movie, who should get the red marker, and who sat on whose face first, but at the end of the day there is always love.
Days always start with the typical morning routine of breakfast, getting dressed, and generally gearing up for the day. This includes pulling out toy baskets that invariably get dumped, piling up books on the couch for a reading marathon, hitting every light switch to be found, and Theo demanding a BOWLLLL, because he thinks all food that comes in small bowls tastes best. I get up and get breakfast on the table, a lunch in a schoolbag, clothes on as many people as possible, and feed the baby.
Then there’s the reverse of that routine at bedtime, which means cleaning up, reading stories, maybe a ride to the bedroom, sibling snuggles, and sometimes diaper changes on the busy hallway floor while one of the kids manhandles the camera.
The everyday is the constant asking for food, the constantly-growing grocery bills, and the little cartons of yogurt I always have handy – the vanilla always goes first. The fun of peeling off the little lids and licking them clean and choosing the perfect little spoon from the drawer never gets old for these two.
It’s making pancakes, waffles or cheesy scrambled eggs on a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning, or Carl taking one of the kids on a breakfast date that makes their eyes shine with joy. It’s giving in to the hype and buying “Frozen” pajamas just to see her face light up.
It’s holding the baby while Mom makes dinner, changes a diaper, empties the dryer or picks up markers that have taken leave of their lids.
It’s raking the leaves and letting the kids throw them all over the place as you go just because they think that’s what fallen leaves are for and it convinces them to stay outside just a little while longer, despite being fans of the great indoors like their mama.
Right now, it’s sending the oldest off to school every day, where she loves to learn and spend time with friends, but loves coming home just as much as we love getting her back.
Of course I could go on, and in future posts I probably will, so my kids will have these to look back on and smile at how life was.
Do you ever think about how many moments make up your days with those you love? How many of those simple, regular, everyday moments are what makes life normal, routine, and happy? I’m good with being boring if this is what boring looks like. Even if it means my kids can easily forget me if I’m gone, I hope they won’t ever forget a feeling of being loved, cherished, valued, and wanted.
Anna, you are so very clear on the concepts of love and joy.
To be there for your kids, to be a constant in their lives
is something money can’t buy, and is such a privilege.
Delight in all the day’s little moments, making time for each child to feel
special, to feel valued, cherished and loved. Never let the opportunity of a hug and a giggle pass you by. It’s the little moments that matter most.
As a mother of four (now-grown) sons, I look back and know how truly blessed
I was, to be a full-time, stay-at-home Mom. I miss the “happy chaos” of that long-ago, busy time. I love my kids so much and they know it.
Those were the best days of my life.
God bless you and you beautiful family.
Thank you so much for your comment, Maureen – I do feel truly blessed to be able to present with my kids and have a husband who thinks it’s a priority too. I already want them to stay little forever, but am trying to enjoy each new stage too! You sound like an amazing mom.
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
What a beautiful post, I love it. Especially the leaves being tossed in the air, magic! I do think about the moments that make up my days with those I love often, I try to capture those moments on my blog too. It is those simple, regular, everyday moments that make my life happy. I don’t know that I would be able to handle an ever changing environment, you’d never feel grounded if you didn’t have those things I don’t think. A solid reminder to be grateful, thanks Anna.
Thanks Anna! I’m not one for big changes :)
You give your kids quantity and quality and they will not forget you or the love they have been shown.
Kathleen Richardson says
Anna, the phrase I usually hear is that quality is more important than quantity, so your thoughtful statement of the reverse really made me think. And, I agree with you; in this case quantity — all those little, supposedly-unimportant moments — counts for a lot. Thank you for sharing your insight, your excellent photography and your family with us.
Thank you, Kathleen! Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at “planned quality time” that I think quantity is more important, but looking back on my childhood it is the quantity time that stands out to me as valuable, even if I didn’t recognize that at the time.