The house was finally quiet. My kids were asleep. I paused to mentally review the day, and I came to a startling realization: I hadn't played with my kids that day. I had taken them to story time at the library, and I had read their books to them. But I hadn't taken a moment to instigate a tickle war, twirl them in the air, or race around the house giving them boisterous piggyback rides. I hadn't drunk in their laughter or breathed in deeply the beauty of their smiles. I hadn't really looked at them or been with them. They had played together happily all day, and I had been busy with household tasks. I had missed out.
So the next morning I was delighted to see a light dusting of snow on the ground. I helped Jake suit up to go play. I listened to him talk about the snowman family he was going to build in the yard. (I didn't tell him that such a humble fall offering wouldn't even make one snowman.) I smiled as Abby chattered about how excited she was to eat some snow (a beloved pastime she picked up last year.) I laughed as I watched Grace try a few handfuls of snow herself.
Later that week I enjoyed watching Abby pretend, listening to Jake tell me about his Lincoln Logs, and playing peek-a-boo with Grace.