The Little Things

I sometimes think life is one big race. I rush to get out the door in the morning for school.  I rush to get us to appointments and activities.  I rush to get in the carpool line so I’m not the last parent there.  I rush to get dinner on the table so bedtime won’t be too late.  Rush. Rush. Rush.

When I rush, I forget the little things. Not extra kisses or goodbyes.  I remember those. These small things I'm talking about are the little details that make a big impression. Unfortunately, these little things get lost as I try to focus on the big things that will get us to the finish line on time.  For example, on the first day of kindergarten, it would have been nice to put an “I miss you today” note in my son’s lunch box with a little lunch treat.  I forgot.

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It would have been cute to draw a smiley face on his pancakes in blueberries for his first day of school.

I didn’t do it. I was so afraid that we would be late to school that I think I rushed him at breakfast and even yelled a few times, “Hurry up!  Eat. Eat. Eat. We’ve got to go.”

I am not beating myself up because I did get him fed and got him to school on time. Trust me, I know that was a huge accomplishment.  There are some days that we do just what we can to get by and certainly call it success.  He was happy and ready to start his day without pancakes smiling at him. But as a former professional public relations executive, my company would not have been happy with my performance.  There was no “wow” factor.  I missed the little things that could have made his day go from normal to special as he made his journey into kindergarten for the first time.
Recently, there happened to be a little lull in my daily race.  I popped into a bookstore to entertain my daughter for a few minutes while my son was still in school.  I spied an adorable book about Pete the Cat who went to his new school rocking in his shoes.

This guitar-playing cat rocked out throughout his new school from the library to the cafeteria.   I, of course, have a fondness for cats, and my son loves guitars.  With my mind being clear, I was able to focus on the little things again. On a whim, I decided to buy the book and write a little note in it, congratulating my son for completing his first, wonderful week at his new elementary school.  The bookstore wrapped it for me, and our family presented this little gift to my son after dinner


This little thing made a big impact. My son and I had the pleasure of reading his new book that evening.  He asked, “Will we give Baby Diva a new book after she finishes her first week of preschool?”

“Of course, we can.” And just like that, I think a new school year tradition started in my family. 

Baby Diva got her book last night after dinner after completing two full weeks in the toddler class at preschool.  She cries at drop-off, but is so happy when I pick her up.  Her teachers say she quits crying quickly, and has a great morning with her new friends twice a week. 

And yes, we have a lot of boo-boos in the house this week as you can tell from the photo. 

My little gesture was just as special to my son after the first week of school as it would have been on the first day.  I couldn't get to a book store last week for my daughter's new book so her book came even later in the month.  

There is no question that as parents, we are going to have busy days.  Some days may be such a whirlwind that we don’t slow down until our heads hit our pillows at night, but sometimes there may be a lull in our little rat race called life.  When there is, and you have a minute to breathe, I’ve learned that it’s never too late to do some of the little things.

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