It was last Tuesday.
And it was date night.
Date night is pretty rare, especially for a Tuesday, especially for us.
We had just done the frantic rush from work to school to home to homework in about five seconds flat. It felt that way anyway.
Everyone was off doing something, finally. My husband was picking up pizza for the kids and the sitter. The girls were both doing their own quiet thing in separate rooms.
I was in the kitchen, wrestling with book bags, streams of paperwork and unpacking lunch boxes with wet, gloppy ice packs that were melted down to drips and drops.
“Mommy, do you like me?” a voice called out from the other room.
The room kind of got blurry for a second. I might have dropped an ice pack on the floor right then as I tossed everything away and went running — no sprinting — to the other room.
I looked at my daughter, who was happily writing and coloring at the coffee table. I gave her a questioning but loving smile.
“Of course I do. Why?” and I sat down on the couch across from her.
“Because in gym class today nobody wanted to be my partner. There weren’t any partners left so I went by myself.”
As I grappled with a million feelings inside all I wanted to do was grab her up and never let go and cherish the amazing girl that she is and cover her with compliments and love and it’s-gonna-be-alrights.
That’s what I wanted to do.
Instead, I said, “Wow, you were so brave. You are such a risk taker.”
A smile beamed across her face. She went back to coloring.
Sometimes, we celebrate things we never thought we’d celebrate.
Sometimes, we just have to point out the obvious and that’s celebration enough.
Sometimes, we can ask questions. “What about that situation made you feel proud of yourself?” “How did you feel” What did you do to solve the problem?”
Sometimes, we put a candle in a muffin or a cupcake to celebrate.
Sometimes, we just give a hug and that’s all we can do.
Sometimes, we cry over our crab cakes in a restaurant on date night in the middle of a restaurant outside of town where no one can see us.
No matter the moment, our ordinary, common, everyday lives deserve to be remembered fondly. These moments deserve an esteemed place on our t0-do lists.
We must continue to strive to elevate the ordinary to extraordinary.
This is what parenting is all about in my opinion. This is living.
Here are a few of the everyday moments we’ve all encountered recently. With nearly 100 comments on this Facebook question, clearly we have much to celebrate.
Often, these moments are baby steps to the bigger milestones. Often, they are the tiniest moments that bring a smile to our faces. Often, these are fleeting moments that would go otherwise unnoticed.
Today, they are gigantic because we shined our lights on them, we let our eyes wash over them with awe and wonder and we let the true beauty of our ordinary lives become the extraordinary moments that they have always been.
As for my girl … to be brave and walk alone on one’s path is the most ordinary, extraordinary moment in a little girls’ life … don’t you think?
Learned to get in the pool with no flotation device.
Learned to go under the water.
Read a page in a book.
Got all spelling words correct.
Did something nice for a friend or relative.
Being brave at the dentist.
A tooth fell out in class!
Learned to hula hoop or jump rope.
Finally landed that cartwheel. Sorta kinda.
That little piece of tattered paper with misspelled words that says something sweet.
Snuggling extra long.
Going back to work or school after an illness.
Baby steps to reaching a goal.
Remembering to put the wash in the dryer.
Listening to the first coos, the first words, the first “I hate yous.”
A bite mark that turned into a heart.
Being surprised by finding a little bling in your Greek yogurt.
A good review.
A goodnight kiss.
A morning-breath hug.
Finding Bear just in time.
Coffee in silence.
After school stories.
Surviving another day in a new town.
The leaves turning colors.
Those “I haven’t seen you in a while” hugs even though it’s only been a few hours.
Siblings showing love to each other.
The list goes on and on …
We have started to realize the beautiful moments that happen in our day. Now, how shall we remember them? Let’s celebrate the ordinary in extraordinary ways.
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- Wanna play more as a parent? I offer nearly 100 ways to play and connect in my book The Playful Family, which encourages families to connect and engage through playful experiences.