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down by the bay, where the little ones grow

its a big job, this mom stuff, isn’t it? there are plenty of things to keep us up at night, wondering. worrying. I often wonder what I’m teaching this little girl of mine. what is she really learning from me? yesterday when I asked Zoey to read books with me and she responded “I would LOVE to read books with you!” I realized, that’s my line. all day eee’ryday, I say ‘I would love to!’ to anything I can say yes to. we’ve clearly arrived into the season of finding out which words we say the most. it’s really cute when she says the adorable things. not so cute when she’s says “gosh dang it…” as she drops her pretzels at the grocery story. humble pie for one?
when zo was first born, I started blogging during midnight nursing sessions when new mom brain was on overdrive. most nights I couldn’t string together a full sentence to save my life. but I was so afraid of forgetting something I wanted this sweet new bundle of pink to know about life. so I listed them. as many as I could as fast as I could think of them. the kinds of things little girls should learn from their mamas. I’ve kept it up, my list making, but lately it’s felt bigger. it’s not just about making these lists and waiting for the right moment to tell her. I have to live them. daily. taking her along with me as iIstill learn to do these things and showing her their value and importance. someone once told me, “greatness isn’t taught, it’s caught.” as much as I love that idea, it also terrifies me. because it means all the great life lessons I plan to impart on this mini me won’t mean half of what she sees me do. isn’t that basically the scariest part of being a mom? that what we do might invalidate and override what we say? I’ve never been more thankful for grace and forgiveness. there is no possible way we’ll do it all right. but how we handle what we do wrong might be the most important thing we’ll ever teach. 
1. always do at least one load of laundry a day. from start to finish. couch cotton mountains are the some of the most overwhelming obstacles in life.
2. when it comes down to laundry or time with people you love? love trumps laundry, go all in. 
3. if it’s not your story, don’t tell it. if someone won’t stop reading you the book, unsubscribe from their issues. 
4. take the effort to give genuine compliments. no one has ever owed an apology for saying something kind behind someone’s back. 
5. you only look awkward when you care how you look. 
6. it doesn’t matter how many babies you’ve sat. when it’s your turn to have one, ask lots of questions and be a good listener. don’t be afraid to ask for help. 
7. invest in quality pieces. a full closet of things you won’t wear might as well be empty. 
8. live for the season you’re in, it will be over before you know it. 
9. let dad teach you about football and fishing. you’ll never regret the days you spend with him on the field and in the river. 
10. i don’t know what technology will look like in your future, but no matter how much time passes, always tell someone how you feel about them to their face. 

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