Some of my most treasured moments as a mother are the simple ones. It doesn’t require bells and whistles to create precious memories with your children. In fact, the easy, seemingly mundane activities can have a more influential impact on your child as a person as well as strengthen your relationship with them. Here are a few examples of recent pastimes I’ve enjoyed with my children that stand out as special and memorable.
Last week my two younger children and myself embarked on a leisurely bike ride, something we do regularly. At the halfway mark we made a pit stop at a park in order to stretch our legs and play on the swings. The day was perfect, mid 80s, clear blue skies with a gentle, cooling breeze. We ended up playing a game of Duck, Duck, Goose in the shade, just the three of us, so obviously it was not a “real” game, just a fun diversion. My son, whenever he was “it”, would tag one of us as Goose and then tear across the park at full speed, not even attempting to complete the circle, as the game intends. My daughter and I got some nice sprints in while chasing him. When my daughter was “it” she not only took full pleasure in smacking us as hard as she could on the head as she called out either “uck” or “oose”, but when she chose a Goose, she ran around in circles until she fell from dizziness or from tripping over her own feet, heedless of whether or not she was tagged or even circling about us correctly. I’m usually a stickler for rules, but this day we played according to our own made-up-on-the-spot rules. I laughed so hard and my heart was full of joy watching my children in complete bliss absorbed as they were in our simple, messed up game of Duck, Duck, Goose.
My oldest, seven, true to his firstborn tendencies, is always looking out for his two younger siblings, as well as myself and his dad. He’s a pretty caring kid. He earns pretend money at school for turning in homework and good behavior which he is then able to use to buy items from the class store. Without fail he brings something home for his brother and his sister every week. It melts my heart. He is more excited about what he shares with them than with what he gets for himself. He takes great pains in selecting items he thinks they will appreciate and explains his picks to me before passing them on. A couple weeks ago he also gave me a dollar from his own piggy bank telling me as he handed over the bill, “Mama, you get so many things for me I want you to get something for yourself now. Here’s some money. Go get something nice.” I almost cried.
My daughter watches me get ready every morning. She has my routine down cold. She turns on the hair dryer for me, she hands me the hair clips I use at the appropriate times as I dry my hair in sections, then she gets my make-up out of the bag for me in the order I apply it. She does all of this without me asking or prompting! She anticipates my next need and supplies it. If I ever forget and reach for an item on my own she flips out and scolds me. It is adorable.
My middle child is expressive and impulsive. If he likes something he exclaims it with gusto. I often hear him saying things like, “What a beautiful day it is today!” and “Mama, I love you so much!” or “This is the bestest dinner I’ve ever had!” His simple, yet completely sincere words brighten my day every time.
I help my oldest son with his homework and reading every day. Although homework has never been a point of interest for me, I have come to cherish this daily time with him. It’s just the two of us working on his knowledge and skills. Witnessing him learn and progress is thrilling and brings me much pride in his accomplishments and improvements. I can see his wheels turning as he muddles over a math problem and I beam with joy as he seemingly effortlessly reads advanced books. What a miracle it is to observe my child growing in all facets of life day by day.