Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon with Sophie, my 7-year-old daughter. The original plan was to take her to get her hair cut (which it desperately needed!) but by Friday evening we had added a few more plans--a shopping trip to pick out clothes for a family picture, a stop to wish one of my students luck at a poetry recitation, and, by Sophie's request, lunch out.
Sophie was so excited for this day. As I tucked her in on Friday night she told me to look for something that she had left on my bed. It was an itinerary that she had created for our day, starting with waking up and eating breakfast and ending with a new item--dessert. This note touched my heart because it reminded me how important it is to spend one-on-one time with our children, how much it means to them. In my mind, we had a list of errands to accomplish, but in hers it was a "Mom and Sophie Adventure Day," which is how she titled the itinerary. That night when I went to sleep, I decided that I was going to think of it as an adventure day too, and not rush around, ticking items off my list. We enjoyed all our tasks, taking an extra long lunch so we could talk and play many games of Categories. It was an awesome afternoon.
On the way home, Sophie said, "Mom, this day is bringing back so many great memories to me." What she meant was this day reminded her of our Wednesdays this past summer. It was the day our toddler went to daycare to hold her spot and Sophie and I had an adventure each week. So, we ended our afternoon reminiscing about the things we had done last summer and looking forward to what we would do this coming summer.
I knew how Sophie felt because, even as an adult, I love any time that I get to spend with my parents one on one. Even the simple little things stick out as very clear memories in my mind--a walk with my dad, a college visit with my mom. It's wonderful to be together as a family, but there's just something extra special about getting a parent all to yourself for a time.