Tonight after returning home from celebrating the birth of Jesus and Christmas with Family, I’ll be honest….I was tired. The drive home was not easy – the roads were ice packed and slick. I should have done lots of things. I could have unpacked everything, put Christmas “stuff” away, or started packing for next weekend’s New Year celebration. I did none of those. Instead I took a bath to relax and reboot.
As soon as I was dressed, Fisher asked me if we could eat outside on the deck. We JUST GOT 8 INCHES OF SNOW, It was 2 degrees out and when you add the wind-chill factor it was -8. After sitting in what could be classified as hotter than a “hot tub”, I was certainly not feeling like it was anything even close to a good idea to go outside. He looked at me and said “mom, you have no idea how beautiful the sunset is right now. Come on, don’t you want to just sit with me and put on my batman hat? We will be fine MOM, come on!” Kid really knows how to tug at my heart….
I gave in and said “ok, but just for a little bit.” He walks outside and starts to scoop a path. Knocks on the patio door and asks for gloves. The cold, cold wind blows in the house and I say to him, that’s a beautiful sunset, can we just watch it from inside? He says no. Then I say, I really don’t want to go out there. I watch as his heart sinks and he turns and walks away. I yell out the door that I will come out. I yell again, but it’s too late because I had already crushed his heart.
I now feel like the worst mom ever. He walks in, heart broken and starts taking off his boots. I get his attention and say “didn’t you hear me? I will come out for a little bit.” He says ok with his head down, barely audible. I say how about we drink hot tea and chocolate? It’s just too cold to eat dinner out there. Nothing is ready yet and its getting dark and colder out! That sounds good to him. So I get the beverages ready, put my snow boots on and tuck my “summer pajama pants” into my snow boots, put my coat on and grab his batman hat to cover my wet hair. He loves it when I wear that hat. We walk outside and my hair freezes to the side of my face. We walk around the house and my heart sinks even further as I see he not only scooped a path for me to walk on, but also a spot for us to sit on the brick wall of the patio. I put a reusable shopping bag on the cement so we didn’t get wet, but that was the coldest thing I think I have ever sat on. He sat on my lap (He barely fits and will not want that for much longer) as we just enjoyed the moment. I handed him his hot chocolate and he asked if it would be too hot for him to drink. I said probably, but I can fix that. I grabbed a handful of snow and mixed it in with the marshmallows and hot chocolate. He finally laughed and took a drink and said it was perfect. We sat for a few minutes and took a few pictures and he was ready to go in. Just as we were walking in the house, the daddy was coming outside to make sure we weren’t freezing. Fisher said with a big smile, “Well okay then, we can stay out longer!” Listening to him tell his dad that his chocolate was too hot, but I just grabbed a handful of snow, mixed it up for him and it was perfect with the biggest smile I saw all day was priceless! We took about 5 steps, the daddy took a picture and he said, “OK I’m cold lets go back inside!” Thank you Jesus, I thought to myself! We came in and Fisher laid out a blanket in the middle of the floor by the Christmas tree and we sat for a few hours and just played games by light of the Christmas tree!
The whole time this experience is unfolding I was reminded of a conversation I had with one of my peers, Linda Fusco. We were trying to come up with incentives for sales people. She recommended the contest including a day of PTO(Paid Time Off). She said there is nothing more important than the gift of time. I had never thought of that. I remember her changing her tone of voice and saying, “Kara, one day you are going to wake up and that son of yours is going to be a teenager and you will wish you spent more time with him doing the little things!” She had a teenager and knew exactly what she was talking about. I have thought of that moment and the way she changed her tone several times as Fisher has grown since that day, but it has never been so hard hitting as it was tonight. I only wish I could tell Linda how much that conversation has affected my life. A few months later, we all traveled to San Antonio for meetings and she didn’t make it to the meetings. She ended up in the hospital when she got there and passed away before I had the chance to see her again. I also lost one of the greatest guys I knew Tom Warne the same week and I remember thinking I am NEVER GOING TO TAKE TIME FOR GRANTED! There are so many things I wanted to say to both of them and never got the chance to do it. And I do take time for granted….over and over again, I tell myself there is always tomorrow. It is not guaranteed. We have no idea what is going to happen or how long we have on this earth. Thanks for the reminder Linda. I hope to see you in heaven someday soon so I can tell you how much that conversation and our friendship changed my life. Starting today I will do a better job of remembering. Until then, I promise to make more time for friends and family. I promise to embrace the little things and let non important things wait until later. I will not let things bother me and remember that the things we make time for now will be remembered forever by our kids, family and friends. It’s not the end of the world to have a messy house, unpacked bags or change our plans at the last minutes to squeeze in a little more fun. It’s not going to ruin their life to have extra treats or stay up all night every now and again. Sometimes it’s better to enjoy the moment than to do what we think we should be doing or is more important than a few minutes of fun! Take time to make time for memories, It’s the most important gift we can give.