I love being a parent. When friends who don't have children ask me what it's like to be a mother, I'm almost at a loss for a good answer because there are so many reasons.
It's the little moments, in particular, that make my heart really happy.
~ Reading: We love books, and for me, there are few things as satisfying as reading a story with one of my kids curled into my lap, watching them absorb the words and study the pictures on the page.
~ Dancing: They both love to dance (in our arms). Matthew calls it "carry dance". Most days I dance with him at least once, despite the fact that he weighs almost 40 lbs (my back = owie). Watching the expression of utter glee on his face as we spin around the room is brilliant.
~ Food: There's something very satisfying about watching my kids eat a warm, nutritious meal that I've cooked. And okay, much of the time food ends up smeared on surrounding walls, floor, dog, clothes... As long as some of it ends up in their mouths, I'm happy!
~ Bedtime: It's one of the few peaceful moments of the day in our house. I sit in the nursery with Oliver on my knee, reading his bedtime story in the dim light of the lamp, enjoying the quietness and the affection of the moment.
~ Soothing: About twenty times a day, Oliver (who's just starting to walk) crawls up to me and bounces on his knees, raising his arms to me. The fact that he wants me to hold him - that I can soothe him, is such a great feeling.
~ Watching them interact: Granted, they don't always get along. But, witnessing the occasion when my toddler hand his little brother a toy, or kisses his head, fills me with joy.
Lately, perhaps because I'm aware of the speed at which my kids are growing, I find myself trying harder to recognize the small moments. Because a lot of the time, I'm so wrapped up in the stuff of life - taking care of the family, the home, dealing with tiredness from sleepless nights, worrying about all manner of things, striking a balance, studying, etc. - it's hard too catch hold of the small moments as they arrive and leave so quickly.
How about you? How do you find time to enjoy the little moments?