Hands down, they’ll remember the little things!

Last September, as one of my very first blog entries, I wrote about our family outing to the State Fair.  In that post, I shared our adventure on The Texas Star.  A gigantic Ferris wheel that is a permanent fixture on the Texas State Fair Grounds.  Because it isn’t torn down and reconstructed each year, I consider it safe, and it’s one of the few rides that I will allow our family to enjoy.  (I know.  I’m a party pooper.)

The highlight of this particular ride on the Ferris wheel happened at the top just as the sun was setting on the horizon.  As the wheel came to a stop, Kory asked all of us to put our hands in a huddle.  On the count of three, he asked us to shout at the top of our lungs,

“We love our family!”

And then we took a “selfie” photo of us with the skyline in the background.  

It was a little thing, but in my post, I said,

“I am certain that was a moment our kids won’t soon forget.”

And they haven’t.

Just this week (seven months later), as I was headed out the door to school with the two oldest kids, we stopped by the master bedroom for a prayer where Kory and our youngest were snuggling (they’ve both been under the weather these last few days).  When the prayer was over, Kory asked all of us to put our hands in a huddle.  On the count of three, he asked us to shout,

“Best family ever!”

The kids giggled with delight as we did our cheer and headed out the door.

And as we climbed into the car, our oldest son said to me,

“Mom, do you remember when we were at the top of the Ferris wheel and Dad asked us to put our hands in the huddle and say ‘We love our family’?  That was the best!”

Yes.  It was a great moment.  Made out of something very little.

I share this story because I don’t know how you’re feeling.  But right about now, I can tell you this.  

I’m pretty worn out.  

The daily grind of the school year is weighing on me.  Coming back from Spring Break has been challenging to say the least.  And “springing forward” just about sent me into orbit.  It’s so dark when the alarm goes off each morning that I can’t see my hand in front of my face.  Every day, it’s a wrestling match with my eyelids to stay open long enough to actually put my feet on the floor!

Yet I’ve always thought of myself as someone who tries to relish every moment.  Someone who tries to embrace whatever season we happen to be in.  Someone who tries to seize the day.  And someone who can find her joy despite the circumstances.  I’m usually pretty good at all of that.

But these days I’m spent.  

I’m wasted.  

I’m wrung out.  

I’m run down.  

I’m deflated.  

And quite frankly, I’ve had it.  

With the schedule.  

With the activities.  

With the homework.  

With just about everything that comes with the school year.

I’m wishing for summer.  And I’m a bit overwhelmed by all of the things that will occur between now and the time that summer actually comes.  Layer on top of that all of the things that I want to be for our family along the way, and it’s exhausting just to think about it.  

Are you as tired as I am, or am I the only one?

The words of my son earlier this week, though, have given me some great perspective.  I’m taking them to heart.  Because his re-telling of a BIG memory made out of something so small reminds me to take things one day at a time.  That everything between now and the beginning of summer doesn’t have to be so grandiose in order to be meaningful in a grandiose way.  They remind me that I will have the time and energy to do the little things that will bring smiles to the faces of my husband and children, conjure up giggles from the depths of their bellies, and instill wonderful memories in their minds’ eyes.     

It really is all about the little things.  

The hands in the huddle.  

A walk in the neighborhood.  

A snuggle under a warm blanket.  

A bedtime story.  

A “coffee” date.  

A picnic in the yard.  

It doesn’t have to be about the well-orchestrated, over-the-top events we conjure up because we think that’s what it takes to make family time matter.  Those things are great, but I’m not sure that’s what they’ll remember the most.

So I’m choosing to focus on the little things between now and May 23.  And I’m counting on making some big memories out of little things along the way.  

And when it’s all over?

Well.

I’m going to the beach!

What little things have created big memories for your family recently?

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7 thoughts on “Hands down, they’ll remember the little things!

  1. We are ready for summer too, we are suffering from cabin fever here. I think it is finally supposed to be over 50° a couple of days this week and hopefully our snow melts.
    One of the most recent things we have done, that I think our oldest will remember, is making a tent out of blankets in our living room, eating a summer-y meal

    • I bet you are suffering from cabin fever. We’ve felt that where we live, and it hasn’t been nearly as bad given that you still have snow 🙂 I love your idea of making a tent and having a picnic. We’ve done that before on a rainy day. We’ve set up a picnic, opened the windows a bit to hear the rain, and enjoyed a meal together.

  2. I totally agree with you on trying to focus on the little things. In our family right now, we are overloaded with sports for the first time with my son, so i am trying to daily remind myself this is for 2 months and take it day by day. This weekend, i had Cooper to myself while Brian was at a campout with Haley. We kept it simple- sushi at home from Eatzi’s, hitting golf balls together, snuggling under covers, sleeping in late, sitting on our balcony reading together, and now teaching his sunday school together this morning. Love these moments amongst the chaos.

    • Lane, Sounds like you had a terrific weekend with Cooper. I was envious of your sweet time together as I read about your weekend! Will be thinking of you through the busy spring sports season.

  3. must often remind myself of this very fact. The little things are so important. I relish the snuggle times and conversations started by my kiddos. Every Friday night is pizza and movie night at our house – and while the movie isn’t always that entertaining for mom and dad….I know these are the memories that our girls will carry with them. The four of us, snuggled under a blanket on the couch, watching Frozen for the “umpteenth” time still makes my heart skip a beat. But, even knowing that in my heart, I have to force myself to leave the dinner dishes sitting, push aside my to do list and let the laundry pile up a bit more – or I miss the little moments! Prayers for you, Jennifer, and the family to be healthy and well rested!

    • Taci, sounds like you and I share similar struggles. If I had my way, our house would look like a hotel. All the time. But that’s so unrealistic. I constantly fight the urge to get up and “do” when we’re trying to enjoy family time. Thanks so much for the prayers. I think things are getting better around here. It’s been a tough few weeks, but we’ll get through it!

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