I think we have all heard it, maybe from an aunt or from a sweet lady at the grocery store. “Enjoy these years, they go too fast.” When I was leaving my last job one of my coworkers sent me a note that said, “Enjoy your days at home. The days feel long, but the years go fast.” How right he was! I am so thankful for these pieces of wisdom. Every time I take the kids out to run errands with me, I get so many sweet comments. Most of them are from elderly men and women. Just today a very old man stopped me in Kroger to tell me that he thought I was so brave for having children “in this day, with everything being so expensive.” He said he had 5 boys in 7 years before he turned 30, and he has no regrets. He enjoyed all those years. Last week in Costco, a middle aged woman stopped me to tell me about her 3 children, two girls and a boy, just like mine, and how she missed the little years so much. She just wanted to chat with the girls for a few minutes. I am always so amazed at how encouraging and kind people are when they see me with my three children and a pile of groceries. I always make a point to assure them that I am enjoying these years!
But if any of you have experience as a stay-at-home-mom, it is easy to forget to enjoy it. We can quickly loose our joy by listening to our own stresses and worries. We can also loose our joy by letting our children define the atmosphere. I can’t even count how many times my kids wake up in the morning and the first thing out of their mouth is a complaint. Am I going to let that define how the morning will go? Nope. I am going to encourage them to dwell on the things they are thankful for, and we will move on to joy. We have many days where it seems like at least one person is crying at every point of the day. Will I let this define the atmosphere? Nope. We figure out the problem, turn on cheerful music, and move on to joy. We have to be actively trying to enjoy these years! And there really are so many fun moments in our life! I have to choose to dwell on the wonderful things about these years, and let the hard things slip out of my mind in order to enjoy every day. And lots and lots and lots of days that have been enjoyed turns into years that have not been wasted.
In an effort to enjoy each day more, I have been writing down funny and cute things my kids say. One of my favorite things about social media (maybe my only favorite thing) is watching other parents enjoy their kids by sharing funny things they do. I love to see people dwelling on those moments instead of the stressful moments. Here are a few of my favorite cute moments from the last couple of weeks…
Darcy, talking to Jon, “Papa, we must keep our house on the path of life. If we swerve into ugliness and selfishness we will fall into a pit of snakes and spiders! As big as me!”
Jon, “ok, are these really spiders and snakes or just metaphors?”
Darcy, “Ha of course they are real! But they are in your heart.”
Darcy, on the subject of romantic love, “You know how you make a woman fall in love with you?
First, you make her feel like you love her by showing her your muscles, and then you have to say she is very pretty and that you love her, and then when she blinks, you find bad guy and hurt him really bad. Then she will be in love with you.” (I did not teacher her that)
Darcy, on finding a husband, “I just want a man who loves Jesus and has a job and a ton of money. When I was a kid we had plenty of food, but no money.”
June, “I feel sad”
Darcy, “Look, June, look at this. Do you see that pretty color? Whenever I am sad I just look at pretty colors and think of things to be thankful for.”
June, “oh yeah! Okay! Sure!”
In the nursery during Sunday School last week June was standing in the middle of the room, clearing her throat until all eyes were on her, and then performing ballet for everyone.
I put the kids to bed and was walking away from their room when I heard a tiny voice say “Mom! Mom! Can you hear me? It’s me…June! No one has give me a hug.
And then there is the regular occurrence of June running through the kitchen yelling ” Robin Hood, Robin Hood! Save me! Save me! The bad guys! Mom, you are Robin Hood.”
Or Darcy walking into the kitchen with an open book and a basket in the crook of her elbow and saying “Bonjour, Gaston. Now, mom, you have to say ‘but there aren’t any pictures’ and throw my book in the mud. Ok? Start over. Bonjour, Gaston.”