The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less. ~Anna Quindlen
Now I'm a person who likes lists and schedules. And lists of schedules. Ah, heavenly. I'm very task oriented, and that really does interfere with how I live in the moment, especially as a mother with a young child. I think children need schedules, that they thrive in knowing what comes next. But some days I am so driven by the schedule, by getting this done so we can move on to that, and hurry hurry nap is coming! When really, at the end of the day, none of that really matters if I don't truly connect with those around me. In 15 years I don't want to look back and not be able to remember the sound of Harvey's giggle, the way he smells when he first wakes up in the morning, all the sweet little sounds he puts together right now, but to know that he went to bed on time every night and he always had a regularly scheduled nap. Checking everything off of my to-do list for the day is not as important as playing and making memories with my little boy. While having a routine and a schedule are important, it's more important to be all here all the time. Our children are only little for such a short amount of time, so let's all take some time to relax and treasure all the little moments while we can. I want to start treasuring the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.