Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Good Old Days

There's a quote from the final episode of The Office that I've been thinking about lately:

It has especially been on my mind as I put together our family scrapbook for 2015. But it's easy to recognize the good old days when you're compiling actual pictures of beautiful moments and memories you want to keep. It's not so easy when you're dealing with a tantrum because you told your 18 month old he couldn't unwind all the toilet paper at grandma's house.

True story.

Obviously, each moment in this season of parenting isn't going to be scrapbook-worthy, isn't going to make us twinkly-eyed with joy. But the sheer number of older parents who tell me to enjoy this stage (as irritating as that kind of statement can be) makes me wonder if there's some kind of important perspective I should have right now.

I'm not going to burden myself with the task of LOVING every mind-numbing, stress inducing, anger producing, exhaustion-filled moment of parenting. That's not even realistic. But I think I could benefit from slowing down a little more, of being present, and of taking notice of the little things.

I want to take stock of each joy-producing moment of parenting as it's happening, instead of being distracted by my to-do list. To enjoy sticky kisses and spontaneous hugs as they come. To really watch my kids as they concentrate on their play. To find the humor in what they're telling me. To relish the feel of them on my lap as we read a book. To linger in their bedroom after they're asleep for the night, just taking in the sight of them clutching their stuffed animals in bed.

It's a fine line between wanting them to grow up already and wanting them to stay little forever, and I want to walk it well!

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