I forget to remember that it's the simple, little, (seemingly) meaningless things that build up to that end.
And if I keep looking only to that point on the horizon, I will miss the journey and reach that point and wonder how I (we) got there.
So this week, I've been trying to slow down. Take little moments and savor them with my children at the ages (and stages) where they are. This isn't hard with Madeleine...I am clinging to her baby moments...they are disappearing much too fast for me. (That's another post, another day.)
But it's a bit harder for me with Hadleigh; she's in that in between stage of wanting to be helpful and being helpful. Wanting independence and then not wanting it. I'm trying to remember that a slowly cooked meal with lots of messy, helping hands will be remembered years from now far more that the meal I cooked alone, quick and perfect though it might have been.
And Nathanael...dear precious boy...is full speed ahead all day long. He has run into the wall with his head in the same place twice now. About a week ago, I told him when he's running that he needs to look ahead so he can start to slow down. Know what he replied? "I can't slow down Mom. I just can't." How do I let him love on his little sister while still protecting her from his fierce affection? (Not fierce in attitude but in motion.) But I have to remember that he's learning and growing way too quickly too. For just this morning, he told me "I'm learning to slow down Mommy. See?" as he was charging into his big sister :)
So this week, I have made heart-shaped sandwiches when they've been requested, because, pulling out one cookie cutter and cutting four pieces of bread and washing that cookie cutter really isn't that big of a deal when I remember the smiles I see when I agree to the plan. And serving them on our special red plates just so that I can tell my kiddos they are special to me today...well, that's worth it too.
It means that I've left the makeshift tent (Daddy's are way better constructed) of blankets and chairs up for a few days in Hadleigh's room, because the girl's room doesn't have to look perfect all the time.
It's reading an extra few books at naptime (even though I have phone calls to make, and dishes to wash, and pages to scrap, and blogs to check) because I remember how much I was looking forward to "being here at this place on the horizon" when I dreamed about Hadleigh being born.
It's figuring out what ingredients I could make cookies from when Hadleigh requested them last night for a spur-of-the-moment tea party since Nathanael and Daddy went golfing. And we made them. And drank cold milk from Mommy's special tea cups, just like I've dreamed of doing with her. (Thank goodness for cocoa, sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, peanut butter, and oatmeal.)
And this morning at breakfast, she gave me a big hug and said "I had fun with you Mommy. With making cookies and drinking a milk tea party."
It's why I am not just preserving holidays and birthdays in our scrapbooks...but everyday moments...because these little small steps along the way are ones I want to remember and ones I hope my children love to look at and read about, when they've arrived on the horizon and want to look back.I still think goals are important. Planning is important. I'm still looking forward to the future...but enjoying this moment too.