When my eldest daughter was born so many people said to me:
Treasure every moment
It goes so fast
Make sure you enjoy it
And if I am honest I found that a huge pressure and it made me feel guilty.
Guilty that I wasn’t enjoying things enough.
That I haven’t got neatly made baby books and journals detailing every event of their first years.
Ben cried for so many months, that I can barely remember his first birthday party.
However I did start a silly little habit on our weekly supermarket shop.
Believe me at the time I was not treasuring taking my baby girl around the supermarket, I remember the time Hannah aged about 15 weeks, screamed virtually all the way around.
So, exhausted, when we finally got to the car with our full trolly I started a game.
I would say:
“What is the most precious thing Mummy has in this trolly?…”
“You are, you go in first.”
As the years went by and Hannah grew, and Ben was born and I would say
“What are the most precious things I have? “
Ben and Hannah would reply, with broad smiles: “us.”
And then after Star joined our family, the reply changed to:
“Hannah, Ben and Star”
And I laugh and say,
“Okay then you go in the car first.”
It was always the same, whenever and wherever we got back from shopping. They are the most important thing in my world, not stuff. They get in the car first. The trolly full of all its newly bought items can wait until my children are safe.
Today Hannah and I went shopping on our own. I didn’t park in the Mother and child parking, and Hannah commented on this.
“I am big now so we can leave that space for someone who needs it.”
She pushed the trolly around the supermarket, and when we got back to the car, she opened her door and jumped right in.
No need for my game anymore.
She is big, I will never lift her out of the trolly again. I haven’t done so for years.
And I guess that is what those people were trying to tell me.
Treasure those ordinary moments, because one day you will realise that that stage has passed. You will wish that your oldest could be 3 again – just for a moment – so you could lift her out of the full shopping trolley and tell her she is the most precious thing in your world, just one more time.
Do you have a way of telling your children how much you love them as you go about your ordinary life? I would love to hear your stories, especially for older children.