Sometimes I get caught up in the rush of day to day survival and forget to enjoy the simple moments. It always gets worse at Christmas. I want my kids to be happy every day, but this time of year, my brain confuses "happy" with "things I can buy." Luckily, the kids keep reminding me that the simple moments mean the most in their lives. Here are some of the simple moments I will treasure from this year.
An impromptu read-aloud by the fireplace while the kids roasted marshmallows was the highlight of Halloween this year. The candy and costumes and decorations were fun, but I will always remember the look of contentment as they snuggled in their pillows and blankets, firelight flickering on their faces. It was a moment I almost missed in my rush to do homework and get everyone to bed. Luckily Mandy reminded me of Nick's one request he had made in passing that afternoon.
Mandy has wanted a bunny since she was a little girl. This year I broke down and got her one for Easter. Every moment with Floppy brings pure joy. There are so many wonderful moments to choose from, but today was my favorite. When Mandy put out her hand to pet Floppy, Floppy laid her head down on the floor. As Mandy petted her, she put her ears back and began to purr. Every time Mandy tried to put Floppy in her cage, Floppy would nuzzle Mandy's hand until it was back in the place she likes to be petted, closed her eyes and purred.
Nick is also in love with the bunny. He gives a play-by-play update on the newest cute thing she did throughout the day. Today he told me she is the best part of his day because every morning she is the first thing he sees. These are moments they will never forget, and I owe it all to a small bunny I thought was too expensive and time-consuming to get before now.
I will always remember the simple moments curled up in bed with my kids reading a wonderful bedtime story together, laughing and sharing our random thoughts as we read. I hope they never get too old for those moments.
On the Fourth of July, I told the kids how my sister and I used to watch fireworks from the hood of our car when we were little girls. They convinced their dad to take us to a parking lot near the park, got out, and climbed on the hood of the car to watch the fireworks. Listening to them talk and giggle as they tried to stay on the hood of the car was the highlight of my holiday. The gorgeous fireworks were just the setting behind their joy.
For the state holiday, we climbed in the hot tub and watched the neighbor's fireworks going off all around us. It was simple and free and one of the best moments of the summer because we were together, sharing our favorite things in a new way.
This fall we went to our favorite place - Silver Lake. We have been there many times, but this year brought us face to face with a moose family. The mom and baby lay in the reeds, while the dad stood nearby letting us take his picture. The fall leaves, the golden sunshine, and the majestic animals made it a moment frozen in my mind. It was another moment that we almost missed with all of my commitments and the physical energy required with my Fibromyalgia. A perfect single autumn moment, together, as a family.
As December eases in, I will focus on the simple moments that make the holiday special - baking cookies together, singing carols, making gifts for the people we love, looking at the lights. I will stop worrying that the kids don't have enough and focus their attention on the simple moments that bring us all priceless memories.