Everyone has before-and-afters in life. Little did I know, in spring of 2014, my life would be defined by two before-and-afters that occurred in the span of one month.
Every time we travel with our six kids, I have this moment of panic where I ask myself:
What have we done?! What WERE we thinking? Why did we come to the beach/the zoo/Grandma’s house/Disney? We’re never traveling again.
DO some pre-trip strength training and conditioning. Disney is a strenuous trip. You should prepare for it by strapping all your children and luggage to you and running around your yard. Or, if your gym has a sauna, strap weights to your chest and pace back and forth while you shout, “no this way! We’re going to the Magic Carpets! Stay with us!”
We were in the middle of meat section at Costco when Lucy declared “it smelled like Grandpa.” Which was rather bizarre because, first of all, we were in Costco. Second of all, Lucy was only six when my dad died—did she remember what he smelled like? What did she think he smelled like? As I bent down to pepper her with questions—I smelled it. The familiar scent of Skin Bracer aftershave. It was the same after shave my dad had worn for decades.
She doesn’t focus on the laundry that isn’t folded, the dishes that need to be done; in fact, she waves those concerns away as she sits and laughs and holds the babies. She focuses on one thing—baby joy. And that sparks such a joy in me. I notice more. I pause. I don’t hurry through the day’s tasks but instead, I stop. I notice. I appreciate. I take the time to enjoy it all. If only for a few minutes, I pause to breathe in the babies’ clean hair. I notice their sturdy little feet, which are now so much bigger.