Two moments in particular stand out to me. The first was a short walk we took after lunch this afternoon. The weather, though windy, was relatively warm and given the snow in the forecast later this week I figure it was best to get some fresh air while we can without boots and gloves and hats and snowsuits!
Just before we were about to leave the house Ava came wandering down the stairs in a self-chosen outfit; a busy, patterned dress in blue/green/purple hues and thick pink tights dotted with green, blue and red flowers.
"Ava, did you pick that out yourself?"
"Great job honey. Is that what you're going to wear on our walk?"
"Alright, let's put some shoes on."
There was no point in explaining the appropriateness of what I perceived as good "walking" clothes and not so good walking clothes. If she wanted to walk down the street in a tights and dress in all facets of coloring, so be it.
She hopped on her bike and was riding in front of Ella and I (I was pushing Ella in a Little Tikes push car) and she suddenly looked so old to me! It was her calf muscles, which seem to be getting more muscular, accentuated by the pink tights with flowers and pushing the pedals of her bike, faster and faster down the sidewalk.
And I had one of those moments, those thoughts, that "THESE are the things I will remember. THESE are the things that I will miss when they are both grown up and in school all day."
It was her carefreeness to not be worried about what others thought of her clothing choice, it was the freedom to ride her bike in the middle of the day, it was her laughter and yet the hesitation to not travel too far ahead of me, or out of my sight. I laughed because I realized that prior to this age I chose her clothing based on what I thought others might think, as she grows she will start to pick clothing based on what others think, but today, for now, she was simply wearing items she liked in the purest and truest sense!
(Sorry if I'm boring you with my detailed account of a silly moment...I'm recording this more for my benefit...down the road...when the details of these days, the cherished moments, seem blurry!)
The other moment that captured my heart today was later in the afternoon. I had just sat on the couch reading books to Ava for a half hour or so and ran upstairs to wake Ella up from her nap. Her room was dark, she was groggy and so I grabbed the fleece blanket out of her bed to wrap her in while I carried her downstairs. She snuggled into my shoulder, sucking her binky and wanted for nothing.
We went down to the couch and turned Little Bear on. She sat snuggled on my lap, burying her head in my chest and sitting quietly while we watched t.v. Ava came over to the couch and sat next to us and put her head on my shoulder and I thought, "It doesn't get ANY better than this."
I needed to get up and get dinner started. I was only going to sit there for 10 minutes, but it turned into 20 because I couldn't pull myself away from the moment, didn't want to deprive Ella of the snuggles and thought THIS is why I have put any sort of career on hold for now...because I wouldn't have it any other way right now. I wouldn't have wanted to miss this simple moment and I wouldn't have given up the opportunity for my girls to feel connected, safe and loved for those extra minutes. It was a true blessing.
And, while I didn't really think about the Christmas season today, I have been thinking about it a lot lately-- about how I want to be in the moment and appreciate the small details, and not allow the next 3 weeks to fly by in a frenzied blur. I suppose I'm off to a good start without having realized it-- it's about making the moment, being in the moment, staying in the moment and connecting with those you love on a deeper level in those moments. They are blessings. They are our gifts to ourselves throughout this gift-giving season...and they are gifts to those we are sharing them with.