“I remind myself that saving everything won’t keep them little forever. I know I won’t lose all my memories of these years just because I don’t keep every worksheet, drawing, or scrap of paper they write their name on. And I love the timestamp the few precious pieces I save give me.”
Nestled on the Montana and Canadian border lies Glacier National Park. Growing up, I lived in Wyoming, and my family drove to Glacier Park nearly every summer to visit extended family.
Now, we make the trip once or twice a year with our kids: once in July, and if we’re able, another trip in the shoulder season—May or September. My kids are 7, 5, and 2, so most of my recommendations are for places to go with young kids.
Clutter, dirty floors, and unmade beds can be remedied in just a few steps: Pick up books. Stack on the bookshelf. Sweep floors. Tuck in sheets. Stand with hands on my hips. Gaze at my work. Done. Checked off the list. Move on to the next task. But my kids? I can’t parent in three easy steps—especially as they get older.
Before I got married, I don’t remember putting much thought into cooking. I spent my early 20s with roommates, and
Allie, my five-year-old, watches me from the kitchen table. “How can you carry both things?” she asks. Her big brown
Several years ago, I sat in a Taco Bell with my three-year-old “wild child” son and my one-year-old daughter. A sweet older woman came up to me and said, “You’ve got your hands full with that one,” nodding to my son. I gave her a slight smile, not sure what to say—though her voice wasn’t laced with judgment. Instead, her face lit up as she recalled her own ‘spirited’ son, though he was now well into adulthood.
That night after the kids had gone to bed, I went to my computer and started writing—an urge I hadn’t felt in years. I didn’t want to forget how my stomach turned in knots at lunch. How it felt like everyone’s eyes were on me as I chased my son across the gray tile floors, worrying my baby would fall out of the high chair when I turned my back to her.