It took me a long time to realize it. Probably because it is drilled into our heads to enrich their childhoods. There is always an activity they should be participating in or a new skill they should be learning, and that is so fun to watch! Watching my oldest son learn to ride his bike without training wheels, my middle son swim across the whole pool unassisted and my baby taking his first steps were epic moments. But I think what I will miss the most when we move past these stages and onto the teenage years and adulthood, are the mundane moments.
It was a normal summer day when it hit me. We had been on two play dates already that week and had a busy afternoon of errands ahead of us, but the morning was blissfully empty. My three boys had woken up early and come in for morning snuggles with their sweet sleepy faces and their soft, spiky bedhead. They still smelled like the baby soap I had used on them the night before, and for a few minutes, all three of them were still and close, immersed in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.
I got to study their faces, already changing from the tiny baby faces I had memorized what seemed like only months before. I got to listen to their soft voices, it was a rare moment where they weren’t screaming over each other and I chuckled to myself at the adorable way my middle son pronounced “fishing po-wuhl”. He was about to start pre-K and we were so busy making memories that I hadn’t taken the time to soak in the moments I will miss the most.
From that moment on, our summer changed. Sure we kept up with play dates and spent time at the pool, but we balanced that with couch snuggles and staying in pajamas all day and destroying the playroom to make an epic Ninja Turtle hideout. I still want them to have experiences and build relationships with friends and learn team sports, but I am carefully guarding our time at home, being completely consumed with each other.
That way, when they aren’t here, I will remember the way the sun came in through the dining room window and made each tiny fuzz on the baby’s head glow, and how almost any Lady Gaga song made them run with reckless abandon in circles around the island and that the master bathtub was the absolute best place to play Legos away from the baby. And most of all, the way they all fit snuggled together with me in the bed on a random Thursday morning.