Monday, February 3, 2014

I think I'm finally getting it

Anna: I don't even know what love is.
Olaf the Snowman: That's okay. I do. Love is putting someone else's needs before yours.

             - Frozen

Just about six years into this adventure we call parenting, I think I'm finally getting it. I've long understood the quote above, although it's not always the easiest to follow. Who among us wouldn't rather sleep an extra 30 minutes rather than get up to watch cartoons at 6:30 on a Saturday even though it means missing those 30 minutes with our littles? (I'm sure there are some of you out there, but I really think you're in the minority...)

I had a bit of a revelation over the past week taking a BuzzFeed quizz about what kind of parent I am and was a bit shocked with the answer. The General. Strict and controlling. I couldn't have been more surprised. Not that these quizzes are the true definition of anyone, but still. Is that really me? Am I more worried about schedule and rules than I am having fun with my kids?

That's when it hit me. I want my kids' memories of me to be good ones. Not the mom that loses her crap on a daily basis over them bickering, or the one that is too busy washing dishes to sit down and color. I want to be the one that says yes more than no, even if it means making the millionth rainbow loom bracelet this week and for their memories to be full of my face lit in sunlight, not the glow of my iPhone. My own memories of my childhood are full of loving moments, shared secrets, and the one time I actually got spanked with a Girl Scout manual (I totally deserved it).  As much as I hate to think it, tomorrow is not promised. I wonder if someone was to extract my kids memories of me what they would find.

I'm sure I won't be perfect on this endeavor, and there will still be rules and expectations. But the next time someone asks for a drink and I've just sat down on the couch, I'll say "Sure, what would you like?" rather than "But I just sat down." 
And so, with that, I'm off to enjoy rather than dread a snow day with my kids. It's time to make memories.