“Enjoy your children every day.”
It was a wonderful twist on the often heard, “You’ll miss this one day.” Her advice is something I think about often.
The sweet woman’s words were simple but powerful in their simplicity.
Enjoy their imagination and creativity. Enjoy their innocence and curiosity. Enjoy the way they reach out to you for a hug or a hand to hold. Enjoy their off-tune yell-singing in the car. Enjoy the way they drop everything to dance when their favorite song begins to play. Enjoy the artwork they can’t wait to show you with pride in their eyes. Enjoy the snuggles and the cozy bedtime stories. Enjoy the jokes that don’t make sense and the stories that don’t really go anywhere. Enjoy the high-pitched “I love yous.” Enjoy exploring the word through their eyes. Enjoy the enthusiasm that radiates from within when they point out a passing school bus. Enjoy being their safe place.
I think about her words most on the hard days. I think about her gentle encouragement when it feels like I’ve lived 10,000 lives before 9 a.m. I think about her advice when I’m overwhelmed by motherhood because her words encourage me to slow down. They encourage me to take a more simple approach to motherhood.
Enjoying my kids is easy. It’s all of the other stuff that gets in the way of enjoying my kids that’s hard. When I’m struggling to enjoy motherhood, her words remind me to dial things back and be present. When I’m fully present with my kids, enjoying them feels like the most natural thing in the world. Taking the time to enjoy their laughter and the way they play and find joy in the littlest things — A cool rock! A stick! A passing firetruck! — is the easiest way for me to find my way back to happiness in motherhood.
Enjoy them. That’s the easy part. That’s the best part.