The MOST Important Memories For Your Kiddos

bike rideI realized the other day that my child is almost three.

THREE.

Where did the time go??

I feel you all commiserating with me. After all, we’re mere steps away from kindergarten. Ok, not really, because Ricky has a September birthday, which means I’ve got three years til kindergarten. But still. This whole preschool thing is a little scary.

Because he’ll be one of the oldest kids in his class, and he really is “ready” for preschool, we enrolled him in a three year preschool program. It starts next week. I had to take him school shopping last night. For my mom brain, it was a little overwhelming. Like, “oh-em-gee we have to get a backpack, and folders, and markers…WHERE DID MY BABY GO???”

And then I had to remind myself that the kid needs some social interaction during the week, and he might as well be educationally stimulated at the same time. It makes him much happier at home. All in all, I know he’s going to LOVE school.

But you guys, there were so many things that I wanted to do with Ricky before he actually started school. We were supposed to do all of these fun things this summer, like go to the zoo, the museum, the county fair. And I planned…none of them.

Not to say that we can’t still go to the zoo before the end of summer, or hang out at the Children’s Museum all winter long. But I always have these great plans, and then life gets busy, or we just play outside until it’s actually bedtime, and suddenly weeks have passed by!

You know that quote, the one that EVERYONE tells you when you have little kiddos? The days are long, but the years are short? It really is true. And I’ve never felt it to be more true than right now.

At the same time, this is a really exciting time. Ricky’s at that amazing age where all he wants to do is play, and learn, and question the world. It’s awesome. And I’m realizing just how much I just need to soak up my time with him (and with Christopher!), regardless of what we’re doing.

As a working parent, sometimes I feel like I don’t get to take advantage of every moment. Because on the weekends, we have to do things like run errands and clean the house, it’s not always a big pot of fun activities. But I’m coming to realize – albeit a little slowly – that as long as we’re doing stuff together, it’s all good. Even if that “togetherness” is spent cleaning the house. Hey, the kid has his own mini Dyson! He thinks it’s totally FUN!

My point is, don’t tear yourself apart just because you’re not able – or energetic enough – to check all of those fun summer activities off your list before the school year starts. Time is always in short supply, and it’s more about just being with your kiddos.

Yes, they’ll remember all of those fun trips to DO things, but they’ll also remember just hanging out, playing in the backyard every weekend. And sometimes, I think those memories – the ones of just consistently spending time together – are the most important ones.

So stop worrying about what this family or that family is doing. Don’t compare yourself to other parents. Just focus on what you and your kids love to do, and how you can have fun doing just about anything. The rest of the pieces will fall into place when they can. I promise.

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