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 wrung out.
I’m run down.
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?
I’m going to the beach!
What little things have created big memories for your family recently?