taking your own advice.
These days life has been very full. And I'm not talking the touching the rim of the glass kind of full, I'm talking the glass is overflowing on the floor kind of full. But you know what? I don't feel the least bit stressed. The holidays are fast approaching and I'm actually excited, really excited. Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived yet and I'm ready to hang the wreaths and garland, a first for me. I've always been a firm believer in keeping pace with the current holiday. The old me would say "what, you can't think of Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving," but the new me shouts "hang it up, bring it on, make your list, send the cards!"
And that's exactly what I'm doing. I may even start baking holiday cookies this weekend!
Could it be that I am actually following my own advice? Am I learning to let go of the little things and enjoy each moment to the fullest?
Last week I crawled in bed with Jess to snuggle, read books and tuck her tightly away for her afternoon nap. I wasn't even tired but I thought to myself I'll shut my eyes, just for five minutes, and enjoy this time with my daughter. Two hours later we both awoke with plenty of smiles and soft giggles. It was the highlight of my week.
I have finally learned that time really does go by that fast. That our children grow daily and one day their youth will be gone. I have finally learned that the laundry will forever live in mountainous piles, that dinner doesn't have to be made from scratch nightly, that the toys scattered throughout our home actually add character and that blogging and other social media can wait.
My children cannot.
As a parent I am constantly evaluating myself and my role in our household. I evaluate how I spend time with my children, how I talk to them, discipline them, teach them, feed them and so forth. I criticize, I worry, I analyze and I re-evaluate over and over. Parenting is the largest and most profound task I have taken on in life and I most certainly want to get it right; I want to be successful.
But what is success when it comes to parenting?
Is it having the children tucked safely in bed, their bellies full and their hearts happy? Is it raising a family who thrives on love and giving? Is success measured by what we feed our children or what information we teach to their little brains?
What if the success to parenting starts with the actual parent. The person behind the teaching, the feeding, the cleaning and the tucking in. I came across this quote and it made a mark on my mind. It took me back to analyzing and evaluating, but this time around I wasn't evaluating myself as a parent. I was evaluating myself as a person, as an adult.
"Character isn't something you teach your kids. It's something you show them. Not in some epic moment of your life, but in the sum of your daily actions. Want a good kid? Be a good adult."
-Kelly Combs, ChattyKelly
*I snapped these photos a few weeks ago and am finally sharing them. Just a random afternoon out with my three favorite little people.