May 13, 2013

A Happy Mother's Day

So friends, I wasn't planning on doing any sort of a Mother's Day post this year. I didn't have my act together, (I rarely do) and I didn't do a book post about it last week, and I just wasn't planning on covering this holiday at all.

But then I got this gorgeous card in the mail from my sis in law, and I just loved it so much. She's so great about sending the coolest cards. Remember this one? I talk about wanting to send Fun Mail, but she actually does it. So awesome.

So I wanted an excuse to show off this cutey-card, but then something else happened, and it really made me think, and then it made me want to share here. Because this is my sharing place.

We had a really nice Mother's Day at our house. And it made me come to a few realizations. Here's what we did: we had doughnuts for breakfast, and then we just hung out for the next few hours. Julia and I played with her Littlest Pet Shop stuff for over an hour. She was so thrilled. When I told her that we had to break for lunchtime, she said, "Oh Mama, we never get to play this together."

Later in the afternoon we went to a playground that we don't get to go to all that often, and she spent the whole time there grabbing my hand and showing me every single one of her favorite areas. I swear to you, it was like I was some honored visiting dignitary and she was beyond thrilled to be showing me her native land.

The bottom line of it all that I took away from the day was that I realized how much my daughter wanted me there, actively playing with her, being actively present. DUH. I kind of had lost sight of that.

As she's become more of a "bigger kid", after being in school all day, she comes home and plays with her neighborhood friends, which is so fun for her and I'm so happy that she's formed these attachments to kids on our street. But then it's homework, dinner and bed. A lot of time on the weekends, it's errands and random birthday parties and this or that.

This past Mother's Day was a big, blaring reminder to me that as life gets busier, what my kid really wants from us and more than sporadically, is to spend concentrated time with me or her daddy, without any distractions, TV, computers or disjointed focus. (well she might not agree with me about TV not being part of that package...)

Seriously, this is not earth shattering right? Can I hear another, DUH, Melissa! But I kid you not, I think we've had maybe a 6 month run of Daily-Life-Grind-Doldrums. I spent so much of my time focusing on her and her activities when she was younger, and in half day preschool, and it just seems easier to forget, as kiddos get older, that they still need concentrated time and attention. (it's like, what? kids need our time AND attention?) DUH.

My kiddo's totally excited reaction to having me just sit on the floor with her and play with her little dollies and figurines made me realize that we are not doing this kind of thing nearly enough. Me playing with her shouldn't be a flipping novelty. Hanging out and being in someone's presence is not the same as intentionally engaging in an activity together. I've been guilty of too much half focused attention giving, too much "Not Right Now", too much "Not Today".

I decided that as much as we can, we're going to have a summer of adventures. Last year, I nearly lost my mind trying to figure out her summer day camp schedule. And she didn't even do that many! But calling around, trying to coordinate different schedules and activities, and whether they would conflict with swimming and what not, I felt like I needed a Ph.D in military planning.

This year? I'm going to worry less about schedules. When we're at home, we're going to be out playing in the dirt. Probably with the My Little Ponies and The Littlest Pet Shop critters.

18 comments:

  1. My little sister is six and she loves My Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Ponies. I like them too, because they are some of the less pricey toys to buy lol and the shows aren't so bad.

    Glad you had a good Mother's Day!

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    1. Thank you Amanda! The LPS toys and the My Little Ponies have enjoyed a good, long run at our house, I tell you.......:)

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  2. That sounds like a beautiful realization and goal.

    A summer of adventures. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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    1. I can't wait to see either! I hope it involves a great many treats, heh :)

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  3. Melissa, this is such an awesome post. My husband and I were recently discussing this very thing. Miss C. has grown so busy with school, and while she's less needy now I know she still needs me. Needs to hang out and play with me. I can't wait for summer vacation this year. I'm planning to use it as our time to reconnect and simply be together. I've got a post planned about her summer to-do list. I think you'll like it. :)

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    1. Oh Michelle, I want to see that list! I need some inspiration :) I can't wait to see what you guys have planned. xoxoxo

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    2. It's up! You inspired me to get going on it. :) xoxo

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  4. I love this post! I've been there and had these moments, too. I'm actually looking forward to summer! Not the heat, but just being together. Next school year will bring so many changes... Here's to summer adventures!!!

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    1. Hurray for summer adventures! I have no idea what they will be! in other random news, there are SO many summer movies I want to see :)

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  5. It's all so true! Last year both my boys played soccer and T-Ball. Dax raced in a bike race for Diabetes and they had swim lessons on top of all that. This year Dax has made it known that he doesn't want to do any of that. (I insist swim lessons stay) He just wants to be a kid. He wants us to take him fishing and he wants to be able to do kid stuff... so we're going with it. Hopefully with new baby all the kids won't feel too neglected for me time. I guess Trapper, grandparents and aunts/uncles will have to pick up my slack...

    Baby is Due July 8th btw. that means in 8 weeks!!!

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    1. Baby coming soon! I am so excited!!!!!! I can't wait.

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  6. Beautiful post and so very true! I am looking forward to a wonderful summer with my daughter before she starts half day preschool, three days a week, in September. Ugh... I am having a really hard time letting go of her. Did you feel that way about Julia since she is an only child as well?

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    1. Oh Miss Julia! I so relate! Ok here's my experience about starting preschool. It was hard for me. Up until that time, she had never been out of sight or presence, except for a few odd hours here and there with the grandmas. So that first morning after I left her there...it was rough. I felt oddly disembodied, like I was missing one of my limbs. I wasn't a sobbing mess, but I felt really surreal.

      The good news is: after the first week it wasn't bad! I quickly discovered that with just a half day, I didn't have much time to get anything else done, before it was time to pick her up, but what can you do :)

      And the other good news: Kindergarten was a BREEZE. Even with her being there all day. All the angst I had felt about preschool was just not in place for me, when she began K. I had none of the panicky freaking out feelings I had when she started preschool. :)

      Hang in there mama!! Deep calming breaths. xoxoxo

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    2. I also remember walking around the house yelling to my husband "I need another baby!" He kindly informed me that as many babies as I might have had, at some point they would ALL go to preschool. Even if I had 8 of them. I found this a most shocking idea. :)

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    3. Awe thank you, Melissa! I feel a bit better. We are really "testing the waters" with preschool as I haven't totally ruled out homeschool. We are just letting Charlotte lead the way. Being a good mama is really hard, but so worth it!

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  7. Summer will be fantastic, I am sure :D Staying home and playing with your kid and their toys is really blessed times. Nowadays, my son likes to be with his friends more than hang out with his mommy but I think he likes being cuddled and the center of my attention still. We just do other things than play. I think crafting is definitely the activity that he still likes to do with me.

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    1. I definitely want to make sure that at least once a week, we have the time to sit down together and do an artsy activity together. It's always to so fun to create something, anything!

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