Was there ever a point in time when you realized your little moments in life were really your big ones?
I ask my 10-year old girl Sarah all the time to go to the beach. I mean, we live in Florida and the beauty of dealing with sweltering, oppressive heat in the summer is that you basically live in a paradise the other six months of the year.
She always declines.
Yes, of course I can force her, though we typically find something else we both enjoy.
Yesterday, I asked again. She declined. I was so wiped I didn’t push it, and took advantage of some down time with a little nap.
Seriously, is there anything better than a Sunday afternoon nap?
My sweet girl woke me up (annoyingly so, I must confess) to see if we could go together to the beach.
Of course she picks my most exhausted state to finally come to her senses.
So truth: I initially said no, that I was too tired, that I’d love to go another time.
But… after a few minutes of clarity, I knew better. These opportunities don’t happen often, and saying no once could mean never being asked again.
So despite being exhausted, despite it already being 4:30 pm, despite seeing a pile of laundry literally spilling over the basket, and despite having no idea what our family was having for dinner…. I said change of plans, let’s do it.
These are the moments.
You might have seen me post a cute little photo on Instagram stories or on my personal Facebook page and think, “cute”, maybe hit like and then keep on scrolling. I’d do the same.
But just as social media often doesn’t convey the full truth about what goes on beyond 99 percent of posts — a frustrating reality that makes many of us feel less than (myself included at times) — in this instance, this little photo of us carried such big meaning.
We held hands almost the whole time on the beach, hers often reaching for mine. We laughed, we looked at the clouds and listened to the waves crash in as the cool breeze kept us close together.
I pushed aside my realization and anxiety that we didn’t bring towels, and waded into the ocean, getting our feet wet and sandy, giggling as we ran away from the waves.
(spoiler alert: my car floor is definitely still sandy)
I said OK the first time she asked to make a TikTok video of our adventure.
We drew hearts in the sand — each drawing a half to complete the whole.
And, we talked about friends and life and all sorts of stuff.
Before you moms feel like, ugh, here’s another mom doing something that again I’m not doing, let me set you straight.
This is not how the majority of our time together goes. Do not let one story let you think otherwise.
She just turned 10 and I swear the hormones are coming. She’s always asking to hang out with friends, and the attitude some days makes me see ugly sides of myself… rage screaming when she pushes me past my breaking point, pouring another glass of wine when I definitely don’t need it, and just not being the best version of myself in any capacity.
You’ve been there too, right moms?
It’s all of that frustration and chaos that makes these little moments so profound.
It’s not about hours and hours together.
I’m a working mom who doesn’t have hours to give, even if I wanted. I also like “me” time, and girls nights, and date nights, and mani/pedis and so many things that are very unrelated to being a mom.
In fact, I wasn’t home most of the weekend. I attended a women’s conference, stayed overnight in a hotel, and then also worked for a couple of hours. And, I feel zero guilt about it.
We don’t need every moment together for me to love her fiercely, for me to be an amazing mom, or for us to raise a good human.
When you are pressed for time moms, don’t get stressed or feel bad.
Remember, it’s often about little moments that add up to big things.
They won’t remember hours and hours of you simply being in the same space as them, just to say you were there.
It’s about 20 quality minutes playing legos, excitedly going along with the story line your little one creates. My son’s creativity blows me away in these moments.
It’s about learning the dance moves they’re doing with their friends, even if you look like a fool doing so.
It’s about happily throwing the baseball in the yard.
Or you impulse offering to go to Starbucks for that frappucino, sitting there and enjoying a few unexpected minutes together.
It’s jumping in the pool or making snow angels or whatever it is they suggest or you seeing the opportunity for, and doing it with joy and excitement the first time they ask.
Because if they ask, it means something.
It means something BIG.
Sarah came downstairs today for school and said, “my New Year’s resolution is going to try more things.”
I can’t say our hour together was the cause for this moment that my picky eating, set-in-her-ways/determined sweet girl said this, but I have a feeling it’s connected.
Little moments can really be big moments too.
What were some game changing little moments in life that you’ve experienced? Feel free to share in a comment below!