The Parenting Resolution I Make Every Year

The bubbles were forgotten. An entire year's worth of small moments missed because I kept putting them off for another day.
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I was cleaning out my junk drawer, a thankless task that always reveals the less flattering aspects of my life I'd rather keep hidden. Projects neglected. Maintenance forgotten. Guilty pleasures stashed away.

This time was no different. The first one I pulled out I didn't think too much about. Then there was another. And another. And another. AND another.

Five little bubble containers. There were five of the little bottles given out at birthday parties and stashed in holiday gift bags. There was a little red one topped with a snowman. There was a little yellow one with an Easter egg stamped in to the plastic. A turquoise one. A blue one. A green one.

Every one of them was taken from pleading little hands and stashed away. "It will make too big of a mess," I'd say as Griffin begged to be allowed to blow bubbles. "You'll just spill it everywhere," my frowning reply. How many times had I stopped him as he tried to open the container? How many times had I talked him out of one of the easiest and purest of childhood joys?

I'd put them in the junk drawer with the intention of pulling them all out when it was time to blow bubbles. But when is it really time to blow bubbles? Never in my life have I penciled in "blow bubbles" on to my weekly schedule. "Blow bubbles" never makes a to-do list or an activities calendar -- at least not mine. Even when I create time in our schedule for "play," it's the flashy activities of the season that get all the attention. We build a snowman. We run in the sprinklers. We fly a kite.

Meanwhile, the bubbles were forgotten. An entire year's worth of small moments missed because I kept putting them off for another day.

Well, not this year.

This year, I resolve to blow more bubbles.

These amazing little creatures that inhabit my life are so like bubbles themselves. Beautiful and slightly magical. A little messy. And oh-so-very temporary. Already I can feel them leaving me. Griffin will be in five-day-a-week preschool next year and then it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to kindergarten. Pop! Amos leaves behind another symbol of babyhood every day. Pop! Pop! Pop!

So, while they are still here, while they are still little, I'm going to soak it all up. It is so easy to get busy and forget that my children aren't just passengers as I run errands and complete projects. Often, I tell myself they are the reason I try so hard. I want to make money to buy them the things they need. I want to create a house they love being in. I want to be a person they can admire. And as important as all that is, they are not only a source of must-do's in my life. They are also the source of joy. But joy doesn't just come from scheduled activities. In my experience, I feel it most profoundly when I stop to enjoy those everyday moments that come and go so quickly.

Like blowing bubbles in the middle of breakfast or on the way to the mailbox or while we're waiting for Daddy to get home.

Plus, bubbles make those moments so very easy. I don't know why, for so long, I saw blowing bubbles as a messy chore. There is no prep. There are no special outfits. The thin film of soap left behind just makes my next cleanup that much easier. I only have to pull out one of these tiny little containers and watch Amos's eyes fill with glee as Griffin giggles and smiles.

And I try to soak it all up before these moments are gone.


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