It’s so fascinating to me that all of our relationships in life are made up of so many more little things than big things.
Marriages, friendships, parent-child, siblings, all relationships.
Relationships are not about duration or where-we-met or who-we-voted-for. They’re about a phone call just to say hello, a pot of soup on the sick person’s doorstep, a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. I saw this and I just had to buy it for yous. He doesn’t deserve yous. I’m praying for yous. Lunch dates. Rallying through tough times, supporting a new lifestyle change even if you don’t expect it to last, comparing notes on books and movies. Loaning each other a favorite scarf, asking how a day was, offering a ride.
It’s a reminder that these are the important parts of parenting. I don’t care about my mother’s choice to breastfeed/bottle feed, vaccinate or not, use cloth or disposable diapers, follow a strict sleep schedule or go with the flow. And neither will my kids.
Although I of course believe it’s important to do your research and do what you feel is truly best for your own family, I think the big things at the end of the day are going to the be little things. Did you read Goodnight Moon a million times? Did you make blanket forts in the living room? Did you turn off the screens and look your children in the eye? Did you play outside? Did you dance around to kid songs? Did you spend Pizza Movie Night watching kid movies? Did you snuggle them at bedtime even though you really preferred to start your much-needed break right now? Did you rub their bellies when they weren’t feeling well?
I look at this list, and the many other things I would add for my own little family, and I feel so weird about it. I don’t understand why some days these are the only things I care about, and then other days I have to fight myself tooth and nail to stay present. Or, worse, I tuck my kids in and then feel guilty as I realize I spent the day catching up on chores and to-do list tasks.
Today, let’s all focus on the little things.