My husband, Ryan, is a great man. And a great dad. One of the things I love that he does is making THE GOOD STUFF out of the small moments with our kids. When he was growing up, he remembers how special his parents made really mundane things - like grilling burgers or watching football on Saturdays - into fun events that they really looked forward to. And he's been purposeful about doing the same thing with our boys. He's great at building up the simple stuff to be the really fun stuff, and it's these little moments that turn into the best memories. Remember the good old days when going for ice cream could light a fire of excitement under your tush? Remember how we were totally fine with pretending to have stuff, instead of actually having it? Do you ever feel like our kids are missing that?
For whatever reason, I think parents today feel like we have to create extraordinary experiences for our kids on a regular basis or they won't feel special. We feel pressure to create childhood magic, which is why we throw crazy huge birthday parties for 3 year-olds (**guilty sheepish grin**) or give iPhones to our 5 year-olds. It's just craycray! And I for one am drawing my proverbial line in the sand and stopping this madness. "Childhood magic" is simply the joy found in discovering new things about your world. Not having responsibilities to tend to. Having unabashed joy in the little things that delight you throughout your day. It's about "just being a kid." And ultimately, even though we probably set out thinking we are simply doing something extra special for our kids, if we do that too often, we end up creating munchkins whose expectations are that they must be entertained and catered to at all times. (Disclaimer: giving your kids gifts and making them feel special is good. I'm all for that! I'm just saying that over-doing it can actually become a negative if we aren't careful.) The good news is, we can foster that in our own homes for our kids...and they will actually like it!
Every Saturday, we bring the boys in bed and snuggle for a little bit, enjoying not having a schedule. And then, Ryan announces, "Guess what daaaaaaaaay it is?" At this point without fail, my 3 year-old loses his mind because he knows it's Saturday, and from there, the boys proceed to throw on shoes and go to the donut store in their pjs to get a single donut. A whole 80 cents and 15 minutes later, they are back home, and we all have breakfast together and it's a time I will always cherish.
The grandparents join the party sometimes too.
I'd love to hear about the small moments you build up to be "the good stuff!"