When you are the parent of babies and toddlers, everyone smiles, sighs, and says, “treasure these days they go too fast.” Being the parent of young adults, I have to agree that’s true. I remember the days when my kids where babies and realize I probably didn’t enjoy those days nearly enough. Part of the problem is amount of work that children require. We really are never prepared no matter how we may fool ourselves; none of us were really ready to be awake, functioning, and responsible for days on end. Most of us were not ready for the emotions we felt either. The incredible wave of emotions that bowled us over time after time. All it took was one little smile and we were hooked all over again.

When I think back over those early years with my kids, what I most want to tell young parents is to not hurry; slow down to cherish some memories. All of us remember the big stuff, the milestone moments, learning to walk, major falls, playing T-ball and soccer; I talking about some little things that could be lost in the shuffle of day to day life. I mean that little grin and run through the house when you put his Super Hero pajamas on; the way your little girl always hooked her arm around her big brothers neck when they were cuddled on the couch together; the way he wanted to scoot right up into the crook of your shoulder and neck when you were trying to burp him. That wonderful, all-encompassing child’s laugh that starts at their toes and ends at their eyes. The way they ran through the yard with the puppy and then slept together. The way she stomped her foot every time she was mad.

Don’t hurry. Slow down and take your time to cherish every event. Save the battered book that they insist you read again and again, you will be delighted when you find it again someday. Make the time to take them bike riding and tell them that even you fall. Help build a snowman. Let them help make cookies even though you can get it done much faster while they are taking a nap. And take lots of pictures of those ordinary events. They can be pretty extraordinary when you look back on them.