It’s clichéd, I know, but for me one of the many amazing things about having children, is the constant reminder they give us to live life for the present moment. To live and enjoy the journey each step of the way – whatever it may bring.
One day last week was one of those lovely little reminders of this when Little M and I decided to do a craft activity.
At just over 2 years old, we haven’t gone much beyond colouring yet – except for the odd craft made at one of his toddler groups. But on this day Little M decided he wanted to make an airplane collage, like one he had seen on tv.
The day before I made a big deal of going to the shops together to get his supplies, asking him what he needed – scissors, glue, coloured paper – and involving him in the preparations. He enjoyed helping to pick things off the shelf and put them in the basket.
The next day we sat down to make the craft and I began cutting out shapes for him to stick onto his ‘sky’ background. I imagined that he would enjoy sticking the pieces together to make a lovely finished piece, with the airplane on the cloudy sky background.
We stuck a couple of clouds on together – but then I had to hold back the perfectionist in me, as Little M, having stuck the clouds on, began to peel them all off again! He inspected each piece carefully, turning them over in his hands. He practiced putting more glue on some of them and then left the pieces on the table and began inspecting the glue stick in detail. I fought the urge to interfere and stick the pieces back on and just sat back and let him get on with it. As I sat making my own craft, Little M happily pottered away next to me, sticking and unsticking pieces of paper and inspecting the glue and scissors (under my watchful eye!) like a little engineer.
When it was finally time to pack away our things, we didn’t have a perfectly finished airplane craft – but Little M had had a whale of a time, exploring the art materials on his own terms. As I thought about it afterwards I realised that it didn’t matter that we hadn’t ‘finished’ the craft. He had enjoyed the journey of making his airplane collage – no matter what the final thing looked like!
For me this was a simple reminder of how I would like to live every day of my life. Not rushing to reach some final, preplanned destination, but stopping and taking the time to enjoy each moment for what it is. To take the time to just ‘be’ with those that that I love and take the time to learn and grow along the way. I know in my heart that these are the moments that I will one day look back on with a smile.
We all lead such busy lives these days – many places to be, different roles to play, targets to reach. But every now and again (every day if you can) let your little one remind you – it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.
What moments have you enjoyed with your little one recently? How do your children help you to keep perspective on life?