Lately, I’ve been so busy, trying to juggle volunteer and writing responsibilities with being a stay-at-home-mom, that I feel like I haven’t been enjoying anything or doing anything well. I’ve been short on time and patience. And every night I go to bed more keenly aware that time is passing. Lola will be in kindergarten in a matter of weeks, and will spend the better part of every day without me. Eva, whose baby talk still makes me deliriously happy, won’t be pudgy-cheeked and babyish forever. She is 3 and a half, and the little sliver of babyhood that she has left gets narrower every day. I am always struggling to remind myself that, although my responsibilities are important, my girls are more important. And nothing else I do is going to make up for the times when I am short and snippy and distracted because I have so many other things going on. So, this afternoon, even though deadlines loomed and to-do lists taunted me, I dropped everything and spent a couple of hours playing. First, I let Lola choose a recipe from her Pink Princess Cookbook. Fortunately, she chose a super-simple one, and we had all the ingredients. We rolled ice cream sugar cones in melted candy chips, then rolled them in sprinkles and filled them with ice cream to make Enchanted Unicorn Horns. The girls loved playing with the melted candy and the sprinkles, and eating their creations afterwards. After our snack, we cuddled for a little while and then I turned on the Toddler Tunes channel on cable and we spent nearly an hour dancing like crazy to everything from Bob Dylan to Laurie Berkner to Barney! I told the girls they had to be extra silly, so we just let go and enjoyed being gloriously goofy! They were both so into it. Lola chose to dance with me most of the time, while Eva was content to do her thing, perfecting her signature move of running around in circles. I was amazed at how much she loved it! She didn’t want to stop dancing, and she would have kept going and going if we hadn’t stopped for dinner. I don’t think I will ever forget the pure joy and surprise on her dimply face (mommy acting silly?!?) as she danced in circles, her long uncombed dark hair flying behind her. It made me so happy to watch her. Then we went to our favorite Mexican place for dinner. The girls always get cheese quesadillas, and then after we eat, we share a fried ice cream. It’s become something of a tradition and we all love it.
So if, like me, you need the occasional reminder to slow down and ENJOY life a little more, consider yourself reminded. So forget that long list of errands or the yardwork or the other to-dos you planned to check off your list this weekend, and spend some time just enjoying your family, your friends, and some much-needed free time. And most of all, have FUN!