These Are The Good Old Days

I’m feeling rather nostalgic lately.  We are preparing to move from the only home we’ve raised our three children, and in doing so we are leaving a wonderful neighborhood and lovely neighbors.  Although we’re not moving far – just a mile north – I know things will be different.

So, I’m taking full advantage of the last few weeks in our current neighborhood.  Today I packed the kids into the stroller and headed to one of my favorite lakeside parks.  It is never crowded, there’s plenty of green grass for the kids to run barefoot and leafy trees provide just the right amount of shade. We spread out a picnic blanket and enjoyed lunch alfresco next to Lake Michigan.

I asked a woman to take a picture of this quiet and idyllic moment.  She happily obliged, and then we realized that our families were very much alike. She also had three kids – girl, boy, girl – and they were all about two years apart.  The only difference is that her oldest was 17 while my oldest is almost 4.  I could see her looking at me kindly as she wistfully reminisced about her days as a young mother.  I know she saw herself in me.

And, I also saw myself in her.

She told me to cherish these days. That they go by too fast.  And she also gave me some advice: do things with the kids. Include them in travel and take them places and be present with them.  She may have had three teenagers with her, but they all seemed genuinely happy to have a summer afternoon with their mom.  They were kind and happy and grateful.  I want that kind of relationship with Evie, Mack and Vivian when they are 17, 15 and 13.

I know my kids might not remember much of their early childhood in our big city, but I also know that I am building my family’s foundation. Mack may soon forget our picnic by the lake, but his precious heart will hold on to the belief that he has a mother who loves him and enjoys his company. Days like today strengthen our family’s bond.

I am grateful.

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  1. Emily says:

    Oh, that was our favorite park too. Really enjoy those moments. It is actually harder to have those quiet moments outside the city…strange as that is. Thanks for bringing me back!

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