Today I had some time with Brennan and as a special treat I took him for ice cream. We shared a small Blizzard which, incidentally, seem to have gotten smaller. As we were eating our treat and talking I realized that I was taking more time to eat my ice cream because it was such a small amount, so I was savoring it.
I have heard (not that I have actually employed it) that slowing down and savoring food is a good diet technique.
I have also noticed on vacations where we aren't trying to "see/do everything" we spend more time enjoying the time together. Well, ok, in all honesty there is also more time for disagreements. But somehow knowing that the vacation time is limited helps.
Just this week, a boy that we are acquainted with passed away unexpectedly. I think it has caused every parent who knows him to hug their children a little longer. For me, I know I am looking in eyes a lot more, not letting go first, and spending a little more one on one.
Why is that? Do we really think childhood is going to last forever? It can seem like it, especially when we are struggling in our parenting.
When we realize that the time we have with our kids is limited, we can savor it.
My teenager has lately been asking for a bedtime story after I have told one to the littles. There have been so many nights I was so tired, but some nights I was smart enough to sit on his bed and tell him one. This is also the same kid who no longer "needs" me to read to him, because he can do it himself. But the time when he needed me to read to him I loved and savored. He actually still loves to have me read to him.
I fully recognize that I can't always drop everything to do what my kids want me to, but I have found that when I spend the time doing those things they are content for a while. The time when they are little and want to cuddle, read books (yes, for the thousandth time), hear stories, tell jokes, play games, sing songs, etc. is so limited!
But they are the special treats of parenting! They are the fully loaded Blizzard, in a very small cup.