childhood memories

As parents, we often think the big events will be the most memorable.

The trip to Disneyland. The surprise puppy under the Christmas tree. The over-the-top birthday celebration.

We build them up in our minds, convinced they'll make a lasting memory.

Today I pulled out my Daily Calendar Book from 1997, where for each day I had written, in two or three lines, what was memorable on those sleep-deprived days at the beginning of motherhood, and I realized something I often forget.

The smallest moments happening day after day and year after year, strung together like pearls on a string, often make the very treasures of parenthood.

Like this treasured memory on New Year's Eve...

After an exhausting day of diaper changing, a baby-feeding frenzy and hormones flying around the room and off the charts, I ended the day sitting in my blue rocker, my husband close by on the couch and my three week old baby in my arms. The surrounding quiet was like a warm blanket, keeping out the cold winter night. With each chime toward midnight the New Year’s Eve fireworks lit the sky, as if my own delight was being celebrated.

I sank deep into a pocket of satisfaction. After years of longing and infertility and miscarriages, this was exactly where I wanted to be.

In that moment I sat still long enough to soak it up.

I don't believe everyone would have felt the sense of satisfaction I felt at home with a newborn on New Year's Eve, but I do believe we all want to look back on our lives and know that there have been moments that we'll never forget. Looking back over the past 20 years, I can see that those moments are often the simple, unplanned, middle-of-the-mess ones that so easily pass us by.

Parenthood is a whirlwind of activity that leaves us breathless as we try to keep up - to do it right - to make it all worth it. Rarely do we get those perfect Pinterest moments we've grown accustomed to judging our lives against.

But the worthy moments are there: unexpected, frequently free, often fleeting. They are there, when we slow down briefly and pay attention. And our reward will be a string of memories, bright as a string of pearls.

- Amy

About Amy Canby

Hi there, I’m Amy Canby. Motherhood has been my greatest joy and my hardest job. I’d love to help you navigate your parenting journey with what I’ve learned along the way. Learn more about my infant care services >

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