Mornings are routine around here. Most days we wake to Scarlet – our youngest – much earlier than our alarm. It’s often simple, just one last cuddle in the warmth of the blankets. Sometimes a few stolen kisses and a musical giggle.
We – like all other families with school aged children race the clock to make the school bell. It’s routine, first the alarm; then the groans from our kids as we shuffle them from task to task. It’s important to take a moment in each of these tasks to remember what makes it special, uniquely yours. There is a saying that I often repeat, “Life is in the little things.”
I think of this while they brush their teeth in the morning. Haley – our oldest – while definitely the more reluctant of the two; looks at herself the way a blooming star in the theatre might. Every moment is her moment to shine. Each time the bright vanity lights shine down on her you can see her eyes light up like she’s in a dressing room. She quickly tackles her less exciting tasks like brushing her teeth and washing her face, but lingers to style her hair in intricate (somewhat whimsical) styles. While she’s only 8, she dreams of being a Lady, with a capital “L”.
Scarlet on the other hand, is practically joyful at the idea of brushing her own teeth. This is something she does at least 5 times a day. I have never seen a child with such enthusiasm for oral care. It’s one of my favourite little things to watch the two of them looking at themselves in the mirror. It’s like being handed a golden ticket to a private show.
I remind myself to be fully here for these moments. It’s too easy to get caught up on how early you are for work, when we should be making ourselves present. When you really look at it, we aren’t given all that much time with our kids once they go to school. An hour in the mornings, a couple of hours on the nights they don’t have activities or classes. Don’t even get me started on how quickly the weekends pass by.
By the time I’ve gone from work to daycare, and back to the farm its nearly time to start cooking supper. We eat, curl up on my big bed and snuggle until we have borrowed all the sand we can from the hourglass. Then it’s time to begin the struggle/ hilarity of tooth brushing yet again.
Often the three of us curl up at night and cuddle while reading stories. I shuffle Haley into her top bunk, and Scarlet says to me, as she does every night, “Star Shine?”
She always asks me to sing it again. I will always give in.
Until then I refuse to miss a single chance. While I still have the opportunity I sneak in a few verses of Haley’s song as well.
Theses little moments last forever in our minds. Breathe them in! Make it your job to preserve every single piece of those memories. One day your kids will be too grown, too far away. We can’t afford to spend their whole lives rushing.