Making Memories in the Midst of the Mundane

Mother showing baby fallen leaves and chestnuts

It was just another fall afternoon. Kids napping. Roast thawing. Dust piling high on my hand-me-down coffee table.

Earlier that morning I’d popped both kids in the double stroller and headed four blocks north and six blocks west to our small town library. Our mission?  To check out some books to read to our five-year-old daughter. Peter Rabbit. Pooh and friends. And her very favorite Papa Small.

And so with big sis in the back seat of the stroller keeping eye on her nearly two-year-old baby brother in front, we set off on that crisp October afternoon. After checking out our books and grabbing some free colorful stickers, we left to return to our tiny brick home.

I was in a mad mama rush that day. I just couldn’t wait to get the kids down for their naps and then use the time to catch up on all the dusting and cooking and bill-paying waiting to be done. And that junk drawer I’d been meaning to sort.

But Mackenzie and Mitchell had other plans. As we rounded the familiar corner where Oak Street meets Main, my kids spied a glorious sight. A nearly 100 year old oak tree sporting its fall finest, showing off in shades of ruby red and sunshine yellow.

“Ooohh. Tree. A color tree!” said baby Mitch. “Mommy!” Kenzie added. “Can we take some leaves home and do crafts? Please mom. They’re so pretty!”

But my mind was elsewhere. I barely noticed the display of God’s color because I was too busy racing to my next responsibility.

“Why sure” I reluctantly said, trying to appear chipper. But in reality having an impromptu art class was the last thing I wanted to do.

We collected a dozen or so of the brightest leaves we could find and then continued our trip back home. Now as the kids napped, my mind fretted and fussed. But then an image popped into my mind.

I thought back to my own autumns as a child when my own mother taught my brother and me to press fall leaves between pieces of wax paper with my mom’s old trusty silver iron.

A smile slowly formed on my lips as I thought of the big picture window in our living room growing up; how it proudly displayed colorful leaves of its own many a fall. My mom was a busy woman too I’m sure, but she somehow made time for pressing leaves with her kids while also pressing fond memories deep in their minds.

When the baby awoke, I also roused my little girl and the three of us had our seasonal art class after all. The smell of warm wax paper made my spirits soar.

When daddy return home from work that day, the vivid fall leaves greeted him right along with the big hugs from his kids.

Sometimes we moms need to remember this truth: The work can wait. The memories always can’t.

What will you do today to make a memory in the midst of the seemingly mundane?

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When Your Child’s Will Wears You Out

strong willed child

Last month I wrote about my newly-turned 16 year old girl's birthday with a few reflections on how God wired her (and just how blessed I am to be her Mom!). I did not go into incredible detail, but made reference to her toddler years -- as in, the not-at-all-easy toddler, preschool and early Continue Reading