I did some closet cleaning a few weekends ago and organized all of Quinn’s clothes she’s outgrown into corresponding tubs. We also packed up a bunch of stuff Quinn no longer uses (baby bath tub, baby toys, Boppy, etc.).
Cleaning/organizing always puts me in a MUCH better mood. I’m definitely one of those people that like to see all the dirt in the vacuum (even though it’s disgusting that that dirt was once on the floor!).
It was in the midst of all this cleaning that I got super nostalgic about our little girl. Putting away teensy outfits that we loved dressing her in. Clothes that I know I’ve cleaned more than one poop stain out of. Even outfits that I thought she’d never grow into wouldn’t even begin to slide over her head, now!
It’s hard to imagine that we have a one-year-old. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again … the days are long and the years are short. It seems like just yesterday Quinn was sleeping in her Rock n’ Play in our room, swaddled, and could barely hold her head up (and now we swing her upside down!). Even the first time she sat up, or smiled feels like ages ago.
This is why I try so incredibly hard to live in the moment. I heard a great podcast (God-Centered Mom Podcast) last month that was talking about creating a good, God-centered culture in our homes. Heather points out how little time we have with our kids and to make the most of it.
This is SO hard. Am I always the greatest at it? Definitely not. Not even close. But I’m constantly trying. I try to check my phone at the door once I get home from work. I try to read her as many books as she can stand … even if we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar eight times in a row (“In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf.“). I try to remember to pray before dinner and before she goes to bed.
Ultimately, I know for every parent, we just want our kids to feel loved. To feel safe and protected. I want Quinn to know that I’m present and in the moment with her. Not glued to my phone screen, zoning out.
Granted, she’s still a baby and I know we have it easy right now. Quinn adores us. We’re all she knows. But my heart already aches for the first time she gets bullied, or something (or someone!) breaks her heart. I ultimately want her to feel like she can always come to us and trust us with whatever is going on in her life. I want our house to be the place where she and her friends hang out.
But to get to that point, Scott and I have to start intentionally placing the bricks in place. We have to be present now. We can’t just expect Quinn to automatically come to us with her problems, fears and questions when she’s older. We have to develop that relationship now.
I’m still working out how to do this! There is no recipe that is perfect for every family. But for us I believe it starts with meals together, talking about feelings and emotions and not judging. In my head it sounds all ponies and rainbows, but I know it won’t be! I know it will be messy and things won’t go right, harsh words will be said and doors will be slammed.
The overarching theme we want to convey to Quinn and any future kid(s) is that we love you no matter who you are. God loves you and created you to be YOU! We were all created to be different and weird and quirky. Rather than comparing, we need to celebrate the differences.
I know this won’t always be easy for me! I’m a “researcher”. I read and read and read to gather all the information I can before I make a decision … even for something as mundane as shampoo or lotion. So, naturally I have a timeline of milestones in my head for Quinn to accomplish. I’m the one comparing. But I constantly catch myself and have to say, “Who really cares? And does it even matter?” No. No it doesn’t.
So, here’s to daily vowing to celebrate the people in my life. Being present and enjoying the moments, even if they’re hard. Everything has a season, and before I know it, we will be on to the next.
Photos are from Quinn’s 1 Year photo shoot by Studio Llotus. I’m a proud mama over here and had to share … even though they have nothing to do with this post! HA!