Then there are bigger things...moments, events, etc. Trips. Fun outings. Things that take a whole heck of a lot of work, planning, stress for the parent. The events you know you will be MAKING memories. So you do it anyway.
You take your overtired, should-be-sleeping-children to go see late night fireworks. Through the whining, the hauling, all the work it takes to get there--their reaction to the fireworks make it all worth it.
You drive the full hour to the aquarium even though you can only stay for an hour, because you know that during the one hour there your kid will be BEAMING the entire time. Impressions of all those bright colored fishies in their mind for a long, long time.
You pack up what feels like e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. and you take your kid to the beach for only a day and a half. Without your husband. You stress for a few hours prior over packing and moan a little at how babies/toddlers/kids require SO MUCH STUFF when going away for only ONE NIGHT. You remind yourself it'll be so worth it. Your kid doesn't sleep on the car ride down, when you fully expected a nap. She is semi-miserable. Momma's sanity is dwindling. I can smell the beach though...we're getting close. It's gonna be worth it, I tell myself. She throws her sippy cup a hundred times. She needs another snack. We listen to JB a million and a half times to keep her content. We point out bridges, and birds, and let's be honest, anything along the two hour drive that might distract her for 2.5 seconds. I kick myself for not having a fancy car with a DVD player.
It's gonna be worth it. It's gonna be worth it. I think about my girl enjoying the sand, the seagulls, and picking seashells. Dang it, it takes stress & a lot of work to get here, but we're doing it. We're gonna make these memories, I tell myself, and I'll have photos to prove it.
See, the thing is--photos are able to capture a moment. A beautiful, sweet moment. This is why I love photography so much. I know that often they have the ability to make everything seem all peaches-and-cream all the time. But the fact of the matter is, in most cases? That's not true. Yes, while those memories are precious, and amazing, and I'm so beyond grateful to have them captured----they often take work.
The stress and sacrifice of knowing I'll have to unpack a gazillion bags, pack-n-plays, and stuffed animals from the car for a DAY AND A HALF trip (ha, can I emphasize that more? :)) The annoyance of the no-nap-whiney-cries on the drive. The evening of super hardcore bedtime-resistance from you-know-who due to a new surrounding that literally almost left me in tears. Frustrated beyond belief.
But moments. Oh there were moments. Experiences. One's I smile so big about. That I'm so glad I was able to give my girl. And capture. And bottle up and keep forever.
Like our feet hitting the sand for the first time this season, where she could stand and walk and run all on her own, which took the excitement to a whole new level.
Or the sheer joy that was captured when this kid discovered her love for bathing in the sand. Well, basically. I mean, can you even make that kind of joy up? I think not.
Or to see her chatting with the big girls as she soaks up the sunshine. I mean, if this doesn't give me a glimpse into her teen years, I don't know what does.
Or witnessing her joyously munching on her first Manco's boardwalk pizza. Pizza that unless you've had it? You just cannot know the goodness of. Mmmmm.
Her first boardwalk experience, as a toddler, who could run with glee chasing all the seagulls. I mean, seagulls are nasty (and mean, too, especially if you have food)--but to my girl? They were amazing. She tripped on those rickety boards more times than I can count, but I assure you the bruised knees were worth it to her.
First boardwalk arcade experience. She was timid, totally, but it was cute.
Quality time with her Mom Mom, spent snuggling, watching (you guessed it), seagulls. Collecting endless amounts of seashells & her running back to show me every.single.one. Rock jumping. Sand-rolling. You name it, they did it.
And documentation of her very first girls beach trip.
Those moments, little gems...they're worth it. The extra special memories may take work (okay, they typically tend to). There was sand-throwing, sunscreen in the eyes, there was no quiet book-reading beach time, there was no easy bedtime, there were long drives. But I'm gonna try my hardest to keep at it. For her. For me. For the books.
Have a fabulous weekend, friends.