It's so easy to get lost in the minutiae of the day. Mundane domestic tasks like clothes washing and folding, meal preparation, grocery shopping and general pick up can consume a day. Sometimes I'm left wondering why I'm working so hard doing the same exact things every day....and then a moment happens that makes you remember why it's all worth it.
The other day, I picked up the kids from their once a week Mom's Day Away program, and the car was full of the groceries I had purchased. Chicken nuggets are a favorite around here, and I had purchased a few packages (okay 10 packages...they were on sale for $1 each=stock up time!!). The nuggets were sitting at the top of the grocery bag (in reality, the entire bag was full of them:)) that I brought inside the house. Lucky noticed the nuggets immediately and exclaimed, "Chicken Nuggets! I LOVE Chicken Nuggets." Then she bounded over to me and gave me the biggest bear hug around my knees and said, "Thank you, Mommy!".
The exchange completely warmed my heart. She didn't ask to eat a nugget or open the package like some of her peers might (ie: Charm:)), she ran over to me to show her appreciation for me and my time. She's only 3. She amazes me every day. She makes it all worth it. Moments like these make it all worth it. Wrapped in the minutiae of the day are the moments that make up the good stuff in life: the quiet cuddles, the kind words, the loving gestures.
On Tuesday, Lucky girl and I were playing with her letter blocks in the main level game room when I got the idea in my head to spell out some words with the blocks. I wrote the word 'sunshine' on a piece of paper and asked her to find the letters in blocks to spell the word. We worked together and spelled out Sunshine. I decided that I'd like to use the blocks on the window sill of our new 'learning center'. I put the sunshine blocks in a box to go upstairs, and then Lucky wanted to work on a new word. I wrote the word 'smile' on a piece of paper and asked her to work on this one by herself while I went to the office to grab a picture for the frame in the learning center.
I checked in on her and then brought the blocks and picture upstairs. I placed the blocks on the window sill, but one letter 's' was missing. I asked L if she knew what happened to it, and she said she wasn't sure. I asked her to grab a letter 's' and then bring it upstairs, and she screamed, "No, you can't have my letter s". It was a strong reaction, and I wasn't sure why, so I just let it go. 'SUN_HINE' was close enough, and I'm all about choosing my toddler battles.
She came upstairs and handed me an 'm', and I thanked her for it. It was the second letter in the word 'smile' that she was working on. It then clicked. I asked, "Did you take the 's' out of the box so you could spell the word 'smile'?" She didn't say anything but looked really guilty. From behind her back, she handed me the 's' and said, "Here's your 's' Mommy. I'm sorry I took." I thanked her and told her how proud I was of her for admitting to taking the letter and for apologizing. What a big girl! It actually made me teary. We all make mistakes. Recognizing that we've made them and righting the wrong is such an important lesson to learn, and she gets it already!
We ran downstairs and found another 's' in the pile of blocks and worked to spell out the word 'smile'. And then we had a tickle party. That's the good stuff. And it happens every day!
Please note her 'socks' in the above picture. Earlier this week, I asked her to go up to her room to put some socks on so we could run to the store. This task is a routine one for her. She runs to her closet, puts on socks and comes back down, usually without incident. This time, however, she came back wearing tights pulled up to her shins, which is as far as she could pull them up given that she already had pants on. She walked around our kitchen for five minutes like that. Her stride was cut in half at least and she was smiling the whole time she wore them. She's my silly, sunshine girl.