Every year as our children get older and we do our best to provide for them and nourish their abilities, I wonder if we get too consumed with the cost of life instead of its riches. We as tend to get lost in how much car payments and tuition cost instead of reaping the benefits of the little things. When was the last time you woke up on a weekday morning and didn’t calculate the amount of time you had to get out the door, the amount left in your bank account after your bills get paid. We’re so quick to calculate but we forget to stop and appreciate those little moments that are so rich.
I watch Ava walk home from school on Fridays, skipping, bouncing and prancing along and of course the mom instinct is to tell her to be careful and not fall but the afterthought is that she prances along because life is one big wondrous dance for her. For Ava, Monday might be the start of another week but a week filled with laughter with friends and new adventures. Ava doesn’t know the adult checklist ritual, the phone-keys-wallet poem we sing to ourselves before we leave the house each day. She doesn’t know the money dance that I make my bank account do so all my expenses, especially hers, get covered. I am envious of her bliss sometimes but grateful that I am able to preserve it for her as best I can. I am thankful I don’t have to explain to her why she can’t have or do certain things, I’m glad I can provide her with a strong educational background and a family that loves her unconditionally. Though Ava and I can’t jet set off to islands or 5 star hotels, we can take trips to Disney with my family and we can have Mother- Daughter lunch dates. Those things to me mean more because they’re more personal, they’re filled with more love and laughter and they’re something she looks forward to. Sometimes when I come home early on a Friday Ava and I will walk to Starbucks for a hot chocolate and a cake pop, though it’s not much her excitement for it is real, her being able to order it herself and have a Starbucks cup like mommy does is something that makes her happy, for that I’m glad.
Eventually Ava will grow up and she probably won’t jump for joy when I say let’s go get some hot chocolate but I hope that she remembers the times she did and she remembers the fun we had doing it. The little things sometimes mean more than expensive toys, clothes or gadgets because those things come and go, they hold no significance in photos, and they don’t bring back feelings. So my advice to all moms, to all parents, is to take the little things and run with them. Take a trip to central park, to the Staten Island Ferry, to the local ice cream shop and just surprise your little one with something outside of the routine. I promise they’ll thank you endlessly for it and they will be so genuinely happy that they got to do something new that day and you will have that memory of that little grin in your head the next time you feel guilty about working late. Know that those little things make them smile when they are missing you too and that in the big scheme of things … everything will be alright.