There is an article on Huffington Post that is making the rounds with my facebook friends - Don't Carpe Diem. And I get it. There is a frustration while you are in the trenches of child-rearing to want to punch people in the face when they are constantly reminding us that 'They grow up SO fast! Treasure it now". I get it, I do. I'm finding joy in each age and stage (and the horrors too, trust me) that my kids go through.
But one thing that I do push myself to do is to not rush it.
Mornings are a perfect example. I let the kids wake up on their own in the morning. I have this luxury because they tend to not sleep in past 8, and also, because my work is pretty flexible about when I get in. Cam, the early riser, gets out of bed and wakes me up, and we hang out in my bedroom until Maggie wakes up. And lately, Cam runs downstairs and goes outside in the snow to play while Maggie and I make the breakfast smoothies.
This weekend, we got about 6 inches of snow. And spent a lot of time outside with the kids playing in it. Both kids are finally into sledding - so we spent a lot of time running up and down the tiny hills around our house. This morning, Cam insisted on putting on his snow pants to go outside. Which was annoying, but whatever. I got him into the whole outfit and sent him outside. Maggie and I went back upstairs, and she looks at me and says 'Go outside? Sled?'. At this point, it's 8 AM, and I really just want to get the kids to daycare so I can go to work. But I took a deep breath, and said, sure Maggie, lets sled. As I'm sure most mom's know - the amount of time it takes to get the kids in the snow gear is equal to or more than the actual amount of time they spend in the snow.
I bundled her up, we went sledding for all of about 15 minutes before both kids were asking to go inside for hot cocoa (which I was able to defer to breakfast smoothies in the car). When we were sledding, Cam got sick of waiting for me to haul Maggie back up, and figured out how to lay down on the sled on his belly and push himself with his hands to get going. He was SO proud of himself.
So yes, I was about 30 minutes later to work this morning. But the smile on Cam and Maggie's face as they played out in the cold and the snow was something that I would have missed if I hadn't just slowed down and let them have a few minutes to enjoy it. It's so easy to get caught up in what we think we need to do, or where we need to be next. I catch myself trying to push the kids along - like wanting to pick up Maggie and put her into her car seat when all she wants to do it climb in "myself!' and if I can take the 2 extra minutes that it take to let her do it? I let her do it.
Sure, not everyday am I going to be able to say yes to sledding at 8 AM on a Monday morning. But when I can? I will.