I can't stand that word. It gives me anxiety. And I need more anxiety like.....
(can't even think of a good comparison here, because that's how much I don't need more.)
I was driving Crosby home from swimming lessons today and we always take the back route on the way home from swimming lessons so we can see the horses and I caught a glimpse of him in the rearview mirror. He was quiet, because he's always quiet after swimming, eating a sucker, and the wind was blowing his hair because his window was down; better to see the horses like that, and I just had this overwhelming swell of panic about him.....and Georgia too......
Was I soaking them up enough?Every little subtle thing about them?
The way he always smells a little like Chinese food (and I know that sounds bizarre--but I love it so much).
The way he pats my back with his little hand when I hold him.
How he says, "Thank you......so much.'
How Georgia asks me if she can sit on the kitchen counter and talk to me.
How she lets Crosby climb in her side of the car every.time.we.go.anywhere because she knows it makes him happy.
How she is the only person he won't fight about having to hold their hand in a parking lot.
How she is a fiercely loyal girl.
How Crosby says, "Daddy, you're craaaaazy."
How he calls ketchup, kep-itch.
How the two of them beg me to play "It's Raining Tacos" on full blast in the car.
How they can get so wildly insane together and just when I want to lose it, I watch them a second and feel so thankful for them, and how much they love each other, drive each other crazy, the bonds they share, and that they're mine.
And that list is so short. So insufficient. So needing more added to it, because there is so much more. But sometimes in the moment it's hard to recall all the amazing things about your kids and it makes me panic sometimes that I'm missing something, a detail has escaped me that I really wanted to tuck into my heart but now it's gone. And the sadness of that........
So I was thinking the other day about this feeling of scarcity and am I doing enough, being enough, remembering enough as these babies get older and older and I landed on this very simple routine we started in our family about three ago but haven't made it as much of a priority as we're going to.....our three things book. The perfect space to remember and archive forever those small moments that make us who we are. A book that we can look back at and remember.....oh yeah....that was so funny....incredible.....amazing.....significant....
About a three years ago we bought a blank journal and intended to make a list at dinner every night of three things that we were each thankful for from that day. It would be dated so we could skim back through the lists when we wanted to and remember.....all of it.....all that we needed to and wanted to.
Some past entries.
- 7.28.14 Georgia read a book all on her own.
- 8.1.14 We're running the Color Run tomorrow with good friends.
- 8.5.14 In the summer....kids can eat rice with dinner.....OUTSIDE!
- 11.10.14 AND YOU GUYS---WE DID THIS ONE HOURS BEFORE WE FOUND OUT CROSBY WAS BORN.....Great first parent/teacher conference for G.
- 9.7.15 Georgia & Daddy camped in the basement.
- 12.31.15 Bubbles, the fish, is alive..........still.
- 9.23.16 Georgia got a FISH award at school!!!!
- 5.19.16 Crosby had a great eye appointment and won't need glasses!
- 6.11.17 Chris was home all week and didn't have to travel at all!
And reading through the lists is fun, a glimpse into life then, and things we probably forgot about. And there's an element of relief in reading it because it chronicles all those things I get worried about forgetting.
So I am pledging to make our 'three things book' way more of a habit for our family. Even on really hard and horrible and mean days there are always three things you can find to be thankful for. And besides it being something to bring me peace of mind, I think it's an impactful habit to model for our children; an attitude of ongoing gratitude.
It's easy as moms to get caught up in that scarcity whirlwind when it comes to our kids, and it's not as easy to do something intentional, that is realistic, to combat it.........but this little practice is one way that I've found I can work against that machine. It's not that original or even creative, but when it's done regularly, it can be revolutionary.
So whether it's in the car, at breakfast, before bed, after school....whenever.....I challenge you to create a three things book with your family too! It makes for a really good read.