I am soaking in as many of these daily outings as I can. Some times the days seem really long, but then I blink, and months have passed. I know my future self will long for days like this, when the kids wanted only a few simple things:
- My attention
- Chicken Nuggets
- A playground to run off the chicken nuggets
- Ice cream
- Story time
I’m certain #2 and #4 will always be on their list of “wants” though. 😉 Most of you know what a typical day looks like for me. Amelia goes to Kindergarten, then I keep Seb occupied for a few hours while trying to get some work in as well. Once we have lunch together we play for another 20 minutes and then he gets a nap. Amelia gets picked up from school and we do errands and often stop at a few places to eat: sushi (they love miso soup with a fierceness), Chic-Fil-A (sorry, the best chicken, truly), or In-&-Out to split a cheeseburger and fries. This isn’t every day, but at least 3 times a week that we hit up these places. They become our chatting ground. We listen to Amelia’s stories from school and Seb chimes in with his thoughts. I try my best to soak up these moments. Sometimes they share their dreams (or nightmares), and some times we check out the park or play area and stay for another hour or so.
I’ve noticed there are things that are still happening but not as frequently. It’s a sign of growing up, to me, it’s both promising and saddening at the same time. It’s all too easy just to say, “ohhh you’re going to miss these moments.” So I thought I would be specific about the “moments” and what I love about them. Here are some things I wish would stick around longer:
- The constant need for cuddling. Sebastian is more of a cuddle-bug than Amelia. He usually likes to sit with me a few times a day JUST to cuddle and share some hugs. I get teary-eyed thinking that all of that can just stop. Jeff loves these moments too, at night, they get their buddy time and all Seb wants to do is be held by Daddy. Amelia gives us some cuddles here and there, but after a few minutes she’s got her mom’s “I have things to do” attitude.
- Always wanting to be read to. Ohhh some days I am just more tired than others. I want to get the kids fed, bathed, and then be able to say, “go to sleep children”, and be able to enjoy at least an hour of “me” time before I have to shut my eyes as well. It never fails, they ask for stories.. they want to be read to, they not only want me to read to them, they want me to ask them questions before turning to the next page. I know that this time will pass, and it’s all they long for at the end of every night. I remember times in Manila when my dad would read to us, ask us questions and offer up caramels if we got the answers right. I’m not giving out treats this late, but creating memories nonetheless!
- Wanting to have movie nights. Popcorn and a good flick! They want us to sit with them on the couch and sit through the entire show and just be together. These are things we live for, on matter their movie choice, Jeff and I know that this won’t last. Soon they would rather watch movies with their friends, or alone and they will be telling us to go away. Right now they don’t ask for their own privacy, which is awesome! I know how badly I liked my privacy as a tween/teen, and I went through years where I just didn’t want to see my parents unless it was at the dinner table. I’ll be so sad when that day comes! However, Jeff and I promised to keep family dinners a priority, especially throughout all their schooling. These nights where we enjoy either popcorn or ice cream or BOTH, are really the best for the kids. We noticed they go to sleep happy, we notice there is no more whining. Ohhh how I never want these types of nights to end.
- Laughing at all my jokes. This one is a big deal. They don’t really roll their eyes yet, they think everything I say is funny, especially if I say it with a funky tone. They will laugh at the most mediocre of jokes, and they feed off of each other with the laughter. I’m not that funny, I know that. But they think I am the funniest person ever. Kids, remember that. Parents, one day you will tell them something that you actually find hilarious, and you will get an eye roll that will leave a lump in your throat. It might even be followed by them mocking you or saying slowly: ha…ha…ha… OooOohhh I dread this moment.
- Just about everything they say and ask is still considered “cute”. Yep, this too shall pass. One day you will have this look on your face like, “umm.. you know the answer to that, don’t play dumb.” I know it’s coming. For now, their curiosity is justified and adorable. Maybe this one is more a reminder to my future self, don’t be too harsh when they ask
- Wanting and allowing me to take their pictures. Yup, this one hits close. One day I cannot look at them and demand that they smile for the camera or take a photo with me or each other. Actually, Amelia might always be okay with having her photo taken. But I am noticing an irritation-vibe coming from Sebastian lately.
- They hardly fight, they’re best friends. This is going to fade away quickly too. I give it a few more years till they are just so irritated with one another. Right now they are in to the same shows, everything Amelia does is “the coolest” to Sebastian, and she finds him to be “the cutest.” They play so well together and keep each other occupied. Pleeeease let this last.
- They have no worries.. no stresses to keep them awake at night. Really, life isn’t “incredibly unfair” yet to them. Their world isn’t “falling apart” and they don’t feel like “running away from home and never coming back!.” Ugghhh I am so not looking forward to puberty. Right now their biggest concerns are what and who they get to play with and what show to watch and which fruit to eat and working on sharing. They aren’t worried about what they’re going to be when they grow up and they have no care in the world. No worrying about paying bills or having a comfy bed to sleep on. They’re enjoying life as it should be enjoyed, and we get to witness all that. Children often remind us what life’s truly about.
So the list continues. For now these are the moments I want to cling on to for as long as possible. Please, please Time, be gentle.