Every Tuesday morning, our school’s PTA sends out an email titled “Read it and Breathe.” Each week, they seem to know exactly what I need.
The other day it was: “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. (Robert Brault)”
I had just finished a short but much-needed playground afternoon with my boys. I admit I’m not always the best at playing with my kids – that non-stop to-do list running in my head keeps me from being as present as I should - but on this afternoon, I was relishing my time with Weston and Sawyer. It was just the three of us, smiling, giggling, the boys wowing me with their feats of grandeur as they scaled high and jumped down into my arms. “Momma, Momma, watch this funny show!” cried Sawyer, my 2-and-a-half year old. “Momma, Momma, watch ME!” Weston sang as he leaped from playground to picnic table to gazebo, a grin of pride lighting up his sweet, almost 6-year-old face.
“Again, Momma, again!’’ they said in unison, both wanting to jump into my arms at the same moment.
“This is it, “ I thought. These are the moments to cherish. The ones that matter long after the meltdown in the grocery store (that came about 30 minutes later!) or the tantrum in the morning. The ones that make you smile to yourself when you need a pick-me-up, the ones you can feel in your heart, the ones when you look at your partner and share that knowing glance that says everything and nothing all at once. The moments when time stands still and THIS is all that matters.
I had the same thought last week when I heard Sawyer do the “double-step” as he came down the stairs. It’s a sweet, deliberate sound that only tiny toddler feet can make. I stopped and listened. Really listened. All of a sudden, I realized he wouldn’t take the stairs like this for much longer. My baby boy is growing up too fast, wanting to be just like his big brother. But in that moment, I froze him in time. “Wait, Momma, wait. Carry me!” With pleasure, Sawyer, with pleasure. And then it was back upstairs to carry Weston down on my back, who, despite his feet nearly touching the floor when I give him a piggyback ride, didn't want to be outdone by his little brother getting all of the Mommy time.
I love these little things. And I love my boys more every day for reminding me these moments are the big things. They are moments that truly matter.
Weekend TODAY co-anchor Erica Hill is a mom of two boys who lives in New York with her husband and two sons.