I took my 4-year-old daughter to see ‘The Sound of Music’ not too long ago. Despite the start time being at her approximate bedtime, I forged ahead, excited about the experience we would share together. ‘The Sound of Music’ was one of my favorite movies as a child, and every year at Christmastime, I share that tradition with my daughter. So when the chance came up to see it live, I jumped.
I made the mistake of not really making her eat a full dinner before the play, thinking there would be snacks at the theater. When we arrived, I regretfully realized I was wrong. The musical kept her attention the entire time despite the fact her stomach was growling and it was hours past bedtime. At one point, she climbed onto my lap and fought hard to stay awake: “If I blink really fast, Mom, I can keep my eyes open.”
Together, we sang all of the familiar songs: ‘Doe, a deer, a female deer’ and ‘These are a few of my favorite things.’ The night quickly became a memorable mother/daughter experience I will always cherish. I couldn’t even believe how well she did during the entire production.
It was my mistake getting talked into stopping at In ‘n’ Out for food on the way home. A beyond tired 4-year-old with low blood sugar waiting for food is the equivalent of, I don’t know, a starving bear?? A growling, angry bear. I was scared at one point.
A screaming, crying meltdown in her carseat ensued while I was wedged between cars in the drive thru with no way out. That beaming pride I felt earlier was quickly replaced with disappointment and regret. I remained pretty calm on the outside, but was feeling super irritable that I ever thought this night could be a good idea. Overtired and over-hungry, she had hit her breaking point.
We all get to that point, don’t we?
I’m a firm believer in being proactive as parents so that we don’t get to that low, but sometimes it just can’t be helped. If we have sick children, it inevitably leads to a rough week with few moments to ourselves to recharge. There are countless scenarios that may result in us feeling at our worst. If there is not time for self-care, I quickly turn to making sure my thoughts stay positive which is much easier said than done (as evidenced by how I felt in the car that night). But I have found that keeping my thoughts positive will never let me down.
Keeping a journal throughout the week is one way that helps me feel grateful for the big and small things in life. Just as they sang in ‘The Sound of Music’ – it really does help to think of our favorite things. This helps keep my thoughts positive and on track.
That beautiful tree I love. Gorgeous sunsets. A certain smile of my son’s. My daughter’s eyes. Autumn. Thunder. The ocean. That I get to live in such a beautiful place. Drops of lavender oil in my bath. A glass of pinot noir. Or even better- whatever cocktail my husband is mixing up at the moment. Guac and chips. Sushi. My coziest, worn pairs of socks. My favorite latte at Starbucks. Tea with honey in the afternoon. Sunflowers.
Those small things- they comfort me on the rough days.
That night after the musical, I tucked my daughter into bed after she ate her burger and I opened my dresser drawer to reach for the cozy socks. Those worn, comforting socks. I went to bed exhausted but grateful for not only the big blessings, but also for the small, favorite things in life that keep me going.