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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

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We can so quickly get caught up in doing the work around the house that we miss priceless opportunities. We often forget to slow down and play with our kids.

Sing it with me…

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things…

Some of our favorite things we may not realize are our favorite things until they are gone. For me, the song goes more like this:

Dirty diapers and crumbs on the counter
Bright mismatched socks and sticky little fingers
Trucks and dolls all over the floor
These are a few of my favorite things…

My 22-year-old son just pointed out to me that my version of the song does not rhyme. It’s okay, you get the point.

What used to bug me when my kids were little, I now long to have back again. It is funny how time changes your perspective. Too many times, I got upset over a wet towel laying on the floor because my kids seemed too lazy to hang up their towels.

That train of thought was turned upside down the first time my son came home from college. He ‘gave’ me some mom/son time and then out the door he went to be with his friends. Later, as I walked into his room and grabbed some laundry, I found his wet bath towel on the floor. As I picked it up, my frustration took a 180-degree turn and I stood there in tears thanking God that I had a child to pick up a wet towel after. Sadly, it took me seventeen years to realize that blessing.

We can so quickly get caught up in doing the work around the house that we miss priceless opportunities. We often forget to slow down and play with our kids.

My son’s girlfriend reminded me that you didn’t really have a childhood unless you jumped from one couch to the next to avoid the lava. As parents, we need to stop and play with our children from time to time. Those simple games like avoiding the lava are what our children will never forget. A spotless kitchen will not be their favorite memory.

As we run around the house cleaning up after our children, remember to count it is as a blessing and not a job. What small effort would it take to start looking at the mess of toys, the fingerprints, and crumbs as a gift rather than a job?  I have a few friends that have lost children and I know they would love to have the gift of a messy house to clean up. Stopping whatever pressing thing they were doing to play a game of hot lava with the child they have lost would be a priceless gift.

Last weekend we had a sweet little boy named Sam stay with us. One of the first things he noticed was the different sizes of the tiles in our floor. Sam announced to everyone that the big tiles were safe and the small tiles were lava. As the weekend went by, and I got busy, I would remember what he said and quickly adjust my feet on the tiles to avoid the imaginary hot lava. Sam seemed so happy when I remembered his game.

Looking back, I see times I missed special moments with my kids. I thought I had to do the dishes right away rather than sit on the floor with them and play for a few minutes. To every new mom, my words of wisdom are, “don’t be too quick to wipe the fingerprints off your windows. You will miss them someday.” I know that I miss them. I was too quick to wipe off those little reminders of my kids. In time, those reminders were gone.

My family has now learned to humor me when I bring a young child over to my slider door and blow my breath onto the glass so we can make handprints and smiley faces in the steam. Sam and I did that last weekend. And today as I write this, the sun is shining on the marks his little fingers made and I am blessed. I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I had looked at things that seemed like a job, a hassle at times, as a gift.

Wet towels on the floor
Fingerprints on windows
Laundry piled high and hugs from my kiddos
These are a few of my favorite things
Written by Kim Chaffin

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