The Little Things

Ah, Motherhood.  Before you dive into it, you really don’t know what to expect.  Or, at least I didn’t.  When I was blessed to read that “+” sign on the pregnancy test and to hear the doctor’s congratulations you are pregnant, my mind didn’t really go beyond that wrinkly little bundle I would cradle in my hospital bed.  I thought about my growing belly and the nursery and whether or not I would hear it’s a boy or it’s a girl.  I considered buying some clothes and wondered what labor and delivery would really be like.  And if I was really feeling adventurous I would allow my mind to think about what it might be like to change a diaper.  Beyond that, though, it was nearly impossible to wrap my mind around what it would be like to have little lives to take care of day in and day out for years and years and years. 

What is it that Mom’s do?  I never even considered the question when I was a 27 year old holding that first  “+” pregnancy test.

Babies grow up.  They walk, they talk, they have opinions and thoughts.  They have endless energy and a desire to do, go, experience and learn.  This is where we Mom’s come in.  This is the big part of our job. . . finding the little things in every day that make our time together memorable.  Creating little moments that will cause them to reflect with their own kids. . .

I often don’t notice them. . . these little moments, until I lay in bed at night and look back at our day.  And it’s only when I look back that I realize how absolutely precious they were.  Like Tuesday morning when we loaded in the car and headed over to Lisa‘s house.

The only thing better than finding a fun craft is doing fun craft with a friend.  This is what I call doing life together.  Friendships are the life-line of busy Mom’s and I am so thankful that I don’t have to navigate this Mommy thing alone.  Lisa and I worked together to give our kids an experience.  This week it was all about Valenetine’s Day.  I was so excited when I saw this idea in Family Fun Magazine, I just knew we had to try it. 

Together we passed Meadow back and forth while destroying Lisa’s kitchen and assisting our kids in making these adorable little Valentine treats. 

Of course, the attention spans of little ones is about as long as they are, so it didn’t take long before they left the scene for better things. . .

That’s okay, though.  The craft was really all about us, anyway.

I was quite pleased with the result.

These were super easy!  If you’re looking for a fun, easy activity for Valentine’s day. . . you must give it a try!

But, I digress. 

Finding fun and creative activities for young kids in the middle of winter while trying to care for an infant can sometimes be challenging.  However, I have been realizing lately that the simple little moments go a long way to make memories for them.  Take our evening, for example.

Each evening, as the sun begins to dip lower and lower, Charlie and Chanelle begin listening for the sound of the garage door opening.  As soon as the low rumble is heard their feet pitter-patter in all directions at lightening speed.  Each evening, they find a hiding place and as soon as Chad comes in the house it is his job to find them.  Usually, I am only half paying attention.  But the last couple of nights, I’ve really watched and heard the delight in their voices. I realized that this isn’t just a monotonous routine. . . we are making memories.

From the hiding. . .

his latest spot. . . the dryer

To the finding. . .

. . . I can just hear them telling their own kids about this some day. 

Tonight even Meadow participated with her hiding spot in the laundry basket.  (You know, the one that is always hanging out somewhere between the living room and the bed rooms.)

Um, can we say face of delight when she was found?

Not just on Meadow’s face, but on Daddy’s, too.

This scene has occurred day after day for countless nights yet tonight I really, really saw it and my heart was filled with joy.  I realize how precious these days are.  Before long, Charlie won’t even fit in the dryer.

It really is the little things. 

Tonight, as dinner approached I began to get that feeling of dread that I often feel when we approach the dinner table.  It seems that as soon as we sit down the bargaining about how much they have to eat begins.  Since I was serving left over quiche, I knew the dinner table was not going to be pleasant.  That’s when the light bulb flipped on.

When is a quiche not just a quiche? 

When you turn it into a Gingerbread Man quiche.  Seriously, I don’t think I ever saw Chanelle eat dinner so quickly and with a smile on her face.

Suddenly, quiche was wonderful and she scarfed it down like it was one of those hot dog eating contests you see on t.v. 

It really is the little things.

These are just little snippets of our days and yet they are worth noting.  They make up our story.  Their story.  They make up us. Six years ago, I certainly didn’t know what this whole Motherhood thing would require of me, but I’m learning as I go.  As a Mom, I think it’s not so much my job to create these experiences as it is to notice them.  To make sure that they see me seeing them not just in the big things, but in the little things.  Really, life is made up of endless little moments that make us who we are. More than anything, when Charlie, Chanelle, and Meadow are sitting with their own children I want them to look back and know. . .

. . .that the little things mattered enough for me to be present.

  • lisa - February 10, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    awww….just so precious is the time we have with them. I wish I could slow down the clock- but I wouldn't trade any day that I've had with them for anything! Being a mom is simply the best dream come true…

    What wonderful memories you're making with them! And great pictures as always!

    Love the dryer shot… 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Adopted aunt - February 10, 2012 - 6:30 pm

    So true! And what adorable valentines! You do such a wonderful job of making memories! Love the pics! Loved when they hid on Thurs. Such fun! Yes I was not prepared for all that being a mom was about but you learn as you go, from family, friends. I was lucky when Darrick was born, one of my very good friends was pregnant too and we grew as moms together. The best legacy you can leave them is your faith in God. It's been wonderful to see that grow in my 22 and 20 year old, plus the memories we have made.ReplyCancel

  • Sassytimes - February 11, 2012 - 8:12 pm

    I love that craft! We were going to make those for preschool, but I opted for something a little less messy for a 1 and 3 year old. 😉 Maybe next year…

    Our kids LOVE hiding when daddy comes home too. The funniest part is that they still believe if they can't see you, you can't see them. So fun!

    I just bought 101 cookie cutters on clearance at our local craft store. The girls think it's sooooo cool! I've been cutting everything I can into shapes. My husband even admitted his sandwich for lunch today tasted a little better shaped as a butterfly. Ha!

    I love that you have friends close by to help you through these long winter days inside.ReplyCancel

  • Lissa @ lafcustomdesigns - February 11, 2012 - 8:35 pm

    Summer: you are so creative. I wish I had had your gift when my children were young (well at least more than I did). I just love that you turned the quicke into a ginger bread man!! Made me smile.ReplyCancel

  • cjc - February 12, 2012 - 1:35 am

    oh, my word, you had your baby! and, I ADORE the name. she is lovely.

    always enjoy catching up on here. that picture of chanelle with the light on her hair is amazing.

    and, we would indeed be great friends.

    I'm always so excited to see your comments…thank you for always saying what you say.


  • Trophy Life - February 12, 2012 - 8:15 pm

    omg – it's like the MOTHERHOOD JACKPOT – pb&j photos, awesome hiding places and gingerbread men quiche and a craft/food project?! who says you're not well on your way to Best Mom of 2012? my vote has been cast.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - February 13, 2012 - 8:27 pm

    You are full of great ideas Summer! I love how willing you are to make a mess of the kitchen just to make memories with your kids.
    And what I love even more is how serious you take your role as mother of your beautiful children. I just wish more people in this world would care as much as you do. I "believe" too!
    Love ya!

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