"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
I read this quote this afternoon and it just about made me cry. I don't know why. Maybe out of gratitude?
As we quickly approach the end of this school year, I am SO grateful for this little inspiration that came to me when we had only been in school for a few short weeks. This year our school started 15 minutes earlier than the last few years. Fifteen minutes isn't that big of a deal, except when it means I have to be out the door with all of my kids by 8:00 am. By myself most days since Marc leaves for work at 6:30. I'm on my own for diaper changes, breakfast, packing lunches and coordinating morning chores. The first few weeks were rough and I spent many many mornings yelling. Like all moms, I hate sending my kids to school after having yelled at them. It breaks my heart. After a few calls to Marc telling him, "I can't do mornings anymore. I can't do it!" I received a little inspiration:
Make a list of all the tasks and chores the boys need to have done before we leave for school. Add pictures so that it's interesting and so Anderson knows what he should do since he can't read quite yet.
I made the lists. I hung them on our cupboard door in the kitchen. I explained to the boys' their purpose. And we haven't looked back! Rarely, rarely do I have to yell in the mornings. They stay focused on their own or if they don't I just point to their lists. I don't have to try to keep track of all their responsibilities, figure out which ones they've done so I can remind them of the ones they still have to do.
Many mornings I marvel at the simpleness of that inspired act but the result has been immeasurable in so many ways. I don't feel defeated or angry in the morning. We typically don't feel rushed and that means the energy and spirit in our home isn't not one of contention and stress. I don't know if the boys have even noticed but I hope they have because the way I send them off to school is very important to me.
This morning the little ones and I spent the morning out. We went to the gym and then spent 2 hours shopping at Costco and Walmart. By the time we got home, we'd been gone for over 3 1/2 hours. Honestly, that's pretty significant because it means they are growing up. I don't have to worry about getting home for nap time as quickly. As long as I pack a small snack and something to drink, they don't get hungry which means they are pretty pleasant little errand runners. Even a year ago, I couldn't have done what I did this morning. I love them so much and this morning I was so grateful for these little facts that I bought them a happy meal to share when we got home. Ella finished her lunch and as I readied her for nap time I heard Christian from the kitchen table.
C: Thank you, Mom.
Me: for what?
C: For my fwies.
I hate to say this but I'm pretty sure I have the most perfect 3 year old there is or even ever was. He actually turns 3 in 1 1/2 weeks and I think I'm going to be sad. He's growing up so fast. In 2 short years he starts Kindergarten. What?
Then, I read the above quote. This morning has been full of the little things I love the most.