We went to Disney World a few years ago and had a blast. We took our kids during that golden time of them believing that Mickey and Minney just might be real. It was super special and fun. But, not in the way that you might think. It wasn’t when the Bella saw the princesses. It wasn’t when we rode the teacup ride or experienced the evening parade. It wasn’t even during the fireworks. All of that was entertaining and enjoyable. But, do you know the moments I remember?
- That Bella’s favorite part of the trip was being pushed in a stroller. (Really!? We could have went to the mall for that!)
- That we had to ride “It’s a Small World” about 100 times in a row.
- The highpoint, towards the end of the day, as our little princess is being pushed in her stroller, in her most spoiled voice she says, “When am I gonna get my mouse ears?” Hubs and I laughed and laughed…it’s been quoted over and over in our home. The kids don’t see the humor. 🙂
That being said, the memories were little funny snippets of laughter that are special to our family. I’m sure you are thinking, “That’s it? That’s what you took away from Disney?!”
But, I remember being very sad at Disney, too. I saw too many families trying to make this one special trip bring their family together. Trying so desperately to make some moments. I realized then that the moments can’t be orchestrated by Disney…or you. They just come in really ordinary times and ordinary ways. They don’t always come on vacations, when you want them to. Have you ever said this to your kids? “Ok, kids! Let’s make some memories!” and that is when all h-e-double-hockey-sticks breaks loose? Yea, us too.
What got me thinking about making memories was our recent trip to the library for a science event. There were two girls at a table and a dad over to the side of the room flipping through his phone. Pretty soon, he pulls out his laptop and feverishly starts pecking away. His girls keep trying to interact and talk to him, but he never looks up. Sad. While we were walking out, his girls had picked up some books and were over at the self-checkout. Where was “bad library dad”? At the table next to them, but still working on his laptop. He missed every moment with his girls that night. And, I don’t know why and I don’t know if he had a choice, but it really isn’t about him. It’s just a great reminder to all of us, that these moments just happen. They happen when you aren’t paying attention. They happen when we are too busy cleaning the house that we can’t sit down and play a game. Or, we are too busy face-booking that we don’t take the time to find out why our kid thinks Minecraft is so awesome-sauce.
I’ve done it myself, sitting at the park mindlessly scrolling through instagram instead of taking the hour to interact with my kids. I have learned as I watch my kids through their many phases in life, that things don’t stay the same. They won’t stay that sticky little toddler, or that overactive preteen boy. Grab those moments because it’s the ordinary ones that are special. Special moments don’t only happen at Disney World. Special moments happen when you are least expecting them, and you’ve gotta be ready to be in the moment to grab it up and experience it while it lasts.
A FEW OF OUR ELECTRONIC RULES:
- We have a rule about no electronics at the table. It makes the person you are with feel less important when you are continually checking your phone. Turn the thing off. No one will die because they can’t reach you for a half an hour.
- We don’t enter the house while talking on the phone. Instead, we finish the conversation in the car. Come in the house and hug each and every member of the family hello. Seriously.
- We don’t have the TV on during dinner.
- But, how do you make a “rule” about no-texting or surfing or tweeting when important memories are being made (or missed?) There is no rule for that. That’s just got to be self-rule on our parts.
My goal is to stop and look around. Be fully engaged in the relationships around me, to really be present and interested in the people that I am with.
What do you think? I would love to hear about some special moments that came along when you least expected them! Please share in the comments below. And, if you enjoyed this post, please subscribe today!
Blessings on you and your family,
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