This note has been hanging on my refrigerator for over a year. I can’t bring myself to take it down. It serves as a constant reminder to me that underneath all of his tough, complex layers my eldest is sugary sweet.
I had taken him out of school for a routine doctor’s appointment and upon the return to school I took a detour to his favorite place on earth, Dunkin’ Donuts. I sugared him up and sent him back to his first grade classroom. I’m sure his teacher really appreciated that.
When he came off the bus that day he came running to me with a paper in his hand. With the biggest grin he handed me this. It tugged at this harried mom’s heart, and it was so awesome in every way (even the absence of the “h” in thanks helps to make it that much more perfect). I couldn’t believe that he took a minute to actually tank me. The pride lit up his face as ran at me with this in hand, and I will never forget it.
Seeing this his little sis, then in Preschool, followed suit with her own note for Mom and asked me to please put it on the fridge, too. You bet it’s still up there.
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Most of the time I feel like I don’t get this parenting gig right at all. I bake frozen pizza, serve chicken nuggets, and make breakfast for dinner way too often, because I don’t meal plan and don’t have the energy to make real meals on weeknights like I should. I raise my voice and hear them modeling that negative behavior far too often. I set unrealistic expectations for my kids, and they’re so little and so very innocent. I hover, because I am overbearing. I can’t stand to let them live and learn and possibly get hurt along the way. I worry incessantly. My mind doesn’t stop. I don’t relax. I don’t think I know how to. I get so overly frustrated and fall victim to daily drama that I don’t savor the small stuff.
I want to savor the small stuff. I know I should savor the small stuff. I will savor the small stuff. It sure beats dealing with the big stuff!
The extra hugs, fishy kisses, sweet voices even if they’re loud, pitter patter of little feet, interruptions that come out of excitement, bedtime stories, boo-boo fixes, coloring pages, family movie nights, goofy laughter, and scribbled “tank you” notes – all small stuff that leaves such a big smile on a parent’s heart.