I recently had the chance to listen to a fantastic speaker at my weekly mommy gathering. She spoke to my heart in so many ways, and she especially made me think a lot about the little moments that fill my days. The things our family does that will hopefully leave a lasting impact on my daughter—little rituals that she'll look back on and be thankful for.
And the thing is, they don't have to be big, fancy things at all. They don't have to cost money, or have to involve a big commitment or have to be impressive or endearing to anyone else. It's more about tucking familiar little things into the hours of your day. Things for a child look forward to.
At first, I had trouble coming up with anything that seemed unique to our family, but the more I thought about it I realized that there are so many things my daughter gets so excited about within the span of each day. And many of them are little routines that mean more to her than I probably realize.
Special prayers before mealtime, a "family hug" (all three of us squishing together) before bedtime, trips to the used bookstore (and a smoothie treat) on laundry day while we wait for the clothes to dry, weekly story time at the library with familiar songs and toys and games, fruit snacks (always fruit snacks!) when she sits nicely in a cart on shopping day, daddy putting her in bed with mommy every morning before he leaves for work, cereal (always cereal!) for breakfast first thing after she wakes up, outings to the mall (and getting to look through the Sanrio and Disney stores), dance parties (complete with maracas) to country music, getting to run around in her birthday suit after bath-time, talking about "Mickey" (Disneyland) every night before she goes to bed.
All these things (and more) are our own moments, our own special things. I feel a little silly even calling them rituals—but in a way, that's what they are. And without Eisley, they wouldn't happen.
It's so easy to get swept up in all we should be doing for our children these days. Sometimes I wonder if it's even possible to give my daughter the sort of childhood I had—because even though hardly a generation has even passed, things are so incredibly different. And noisy. And overwhelming. And expensive. And scary. When I look back on my own childhood, I can't help but think about how much I appreciated the simplicity of it all. We didn't have a bunch of stuff and we didn't fill our days with so many things. And as a result, I think I was the luckiest girl in the world.
I can only hope Eisley will look back on these years with the same sort of fondness, and will want to give her own children the same things. The more I think about it, the more I realize it's more about keeping myself in check during these early years of motherhood. It's tricky, though. Trickier than it should be, I think.