“Mom, you wanna’ know my most favourite memory from last summer? It was sleeping in until I woke up on my own, and when I woke up my bedroom would be full of sunshine. And then I would come downstairs, go outside and you would be sat here on the front deck by yourself, drinking your coffee, and I would ask you if we could pack a picnic and go to the beach for breakfast, and you would say yes and we would go right, right then.”
This was my daughters words to me as she sat in the sunshine, writing out her summer bucket list.
Can I tell you all a little secret?
Most of my time last summer was spent worrying; absolutely consumed with trying to figure out how to make everything perfect.
The perfect moments.
The perfect getaways.
The perfect adventures.
The amount of time and energy and money that was spent trying to make memories that (I was hoping) would last a lifetime?
Way too much.
The number of conversations that I would have with my husband, where the topic at hand may have varied yet always revolved around the lines of:
“But you don’t understand! It’s their last summer of 8, 10, and 14. I need to make this count.”
Way too many.
The number of nights that I would go to bed completely defeated, feeling as if that very day was a day of summer just wasted?
Yup. You guessed it. Countless.
The miles we drove.
The restaurants we ate in.
The hotels where we slept.
I couldn’t have kept track of I had wanted to.
And yet her most favourite memory of it all was something that didn’t cost a cent, didn’t require a credit card deposit, and didn’t demand weeks of planning.
It was us –
Eating breakfast on a beach, out of a cooler that we packed from home. Sat on stained beach towels, just waiting for the water to warm up to to take a dip.
It was also me –
Saying yes to her request, instead of saying yes to the laundry.
So, People who are Raising Little Hearts,
Consider this your public service announcement:
Don’t go into this summer worrying about all the finer details, the reservations, the schedules.
Go into this summer saying YES.
Yes to the little requests that you may be too busy to even notice. The ‘Can we stop at that park, Mommy?’ or the ‘Can we go for a bike ride this evening, Daddy?’
Or my new personal favourite, the ‘Can we go to the beach for breakfast, Mommy?’
Make more space this summer for the little moments,
For they truly will end up being the big moments.
Just ask her.