I am lucky enough to have a mother who lives close by and can take care of my children on the days I work. She says it’s her favorite day of the week and I am so glad! After work today, I arrived at her house and was greeted with the loveliest of smiles and got LOTS of hugs from my mini-me.
While my mom and I visited, my daughter played. The two of us were just catching up on some family news when we noticed a special little lady singing… and as we continued to talk, she got louder and louder and louder until we stopped. It was a funny little test for my mom and I to see just how far she’d take it and boy, did she!
She then came over to us and sang made-up song, after made-up song about random stuff she saw in the room! Songs about rugs, pillows, her Barbies, teddy bears, and love. She sang lots of songs about love and hugs. My favorite was the one about how much she loved me, her daddy, and her siblings. She did this all while beaming ear-to-ear because we were paying 100% attention to her.
She then tackled me to the ground and wouldn’t let me get up. Okay, okay… I liked her hug tackles, so I was playing along-you caught me! It eventually became time to leave and she reluctantly got her coat and boots on. She knew that as soon as we left, the attention would drift to her siblings and the other to-do’s of the day. She was just being her bright, beautiful, happy self, but I was reminded of the fact that these days are numbered. She heads to kindergarten next year and what I have learned from my older two is that everything changes from kindergarten on.
So, Ellie-Grace, thank you for reminding me to laugh, play, hug, and be silly with you by singing songs about whatever we see around us. Your songs are my favorite songs! Thank you for reminding me to notice you and to not wait until it’s too late to play. I promise to do better with this.
She eventually got her coat on and we got in the car to pick up her big brother, big sister, and another friend from school. We dropped my oldest daughter and her friend off at dance class. My two younger kids and I headed to a small grocery store, Trader Joe’s.
We didn’t need much, but as soon as we got in the store they were on each other’s nerves. My daughter wanted to ride in the cart and my son wanted to push her.. but she wanted me to push her… you can quickly see where this is heading!
I picked up the pace and stopped in the corner for a free sample of tamales to distract them. We only needed to hit the freezer aisle before checking out. We managed to make it through without much drama. Although, they were definitely ready to go home, so much so that when I rounded the corner to circle back to pick-up a pack of the tamales we tasted… I was met with growls and frowns.
I hurriedly grabbed the tamales and a pack of chicken tenderloins, before zooming to check-out. I love the TJ checkout process. It’s fairly quick and my kids can be independent while I take care of business. They know they can ask for a sticker or go get a sucker independently. While I was sliding my card through the reader I turned around to make sure my kids were behaving. They weren’t yelling or hitting each other, but they also had suckers in their mouths and were distracted. (note to self: get suckers first!)
We were all walking out when I was passing another mom at a checkout by the door. She looked me straight in the eye and told me that I have a wonderful son and that he is very kind. She also told me that I must be doing something right because I have good kids. I laughed a bit and said that she must have caught them on a good day and that they all have their moments. We laughed together for a second before I thanked her for the compliment. Then, we wished each other a happy holiday season and I headed to the car. I don’t know what she saw, but I am grateful that she did.
So, fellow mom at the TJ’s checkout counter.. thank you for being a noticer and seeing something in my son that I had ignored in that moment. Thank you for reminding me that he has a kind heart and that he really is a good kid. Thank you also for reminding me to say “thank you” with a gracious heart and without the need to dismiss a compliment. I wish I didn’t do that and I’m sorry. I will work on that.
My hubby and I met and started dating 20 years ago, we were 15 years old. 15! We are both 35 now and there are times that we can’t believe how fast time flies while other moments seem to drag on or even stand still. We are constantly in awe of our children, but sometimes we need reminders to see them.. I mean really see them. It is in the long days that I stop noticing all of their quirks, special qualities, and gifts. And it is in moments like today when I am reminded to slow down and pay attention.
Today was a good wake-up call. But I realized something else today, that looking back in time at those fast years already gone… I only see their quirks, special qualities, and gifts- none of the other “stuff” even surfaces. Maybe there is hope for us all!
So, dear reader I ask of you to stop whatever you are doing and notice something around you that seems mundane or ordinary, and see the extraordinary instead. Look up from your to-do list of distractions and pay attention to your wonderfully, messy life. Notice the kindness, love, smiles, and bravery that it takes to live a strong, joyful, and most of all~lived life! Be a noticer and share what you see with others or reflect on it yourself. Be open-minded and listen to what others notice about you or your loved ones. Say thank you with a gracious heart.
I am so grateful that mom took the time to share her thoughts with me. I needed to hear them and my heart did, too. You never know what the power of kindness can turn into!
~There are no happy accidents~