In the heart of winter, I sit here in our little old house on our quiet street feeling thankful for the warmth of the heater and the laughter of my three sons and their father coming from down the hall and the living room.
I'll admit I snuck away from them, just now, to write and escape the wildness for a few minutes. It's an opportunity I don't always get because my husband travels so much for work but when he is here I will gladly take advantage of it.
I just want to write about them anyway, something they might appreciate reading in the future when they are all grown up. I think about that so often, them being grown, when these "long days, short years" times have sunk deep into the past along with everyday occurrences that I might take for granted, like how they fight over who gets to hug me first and for how long, when I wake up some mornings covered in them like a blanket, how every picture they draw is for me and how they just want to show me everything, and tell me everything.
All it takes is a glance at baby photo of your six year old to give you that weepy yearning feeling. That feeling of missing something that belongs to you still but at the same time has left, something you can't get back but that is also eternally woven into your heart.
For example, the way your three year old's voice sounded like bells, or how sweet they look walking around in footed pajamas, or liked to splash their chubby hands in the water during a sink bath. I've really been thinking a lot about how to make each day special and really count with them. Of course I over document for as long as my phone storage will allow, because I would regret it if I didn't, but I want to make sure that in what they remember and take away from the day there is at least one magical part.
What I want my family to remember most about these precious childhood years is that they were magical, and that they were safe and loved. That during winter months like this we strung twinkle lights around every window inside, and how warm and cozy that made us feel when we walked into a room.
Or the morning I woke them up and sat them in front of the closed blinds, and then pulled them open to show them that surprise southern snow day, where all we could see was covered in white and how we spent the morning in our yard playing in a real life snow globe.
One of these slow winter days when it was too cold to get out, we looked up paper snow flake designs on Pinterest and made a ton, we hung them on the boy's bedroom windows and they were so excited about it.
We made homemade ornaments our of cinnamon salt dough and woodland animal cookie cutters and their eyes lit up as they hung their creations on the tree, I thought about how we all would relive that memory every Christmas to come.
There was one night in December when we all ran outside three different times in the cold to see the lights my husband had put on the house, the boys squealing and laughing with excitement but in a Clark Griswold twist they didn't come on until the third trip out to the front yard. I hope they remember cold cheek kisses and me sticking their hands in my jacket pockets to keep them warm on walks, and how Dada got mama a new ornament every Christmas.
As a mother, making each day and each season special and celebrated even in the most simple ways, makes for the kind of day I can feel proud of in some little way when I lie my head down at night, no matter how many other tasks and chores I didn't get to cross of my list. Every season has something to love about it, and for me, I love that in winter you kind of get the excuse to burrow into your home with your family, to keep them warm and cozy, and there is a special closeness with that that I think is unique to winter. That is something I am so thankful for, something I will always remember and hope they will too.
My name is Cassidy Compton, and I live in a small town in Alabama with my husband Cameron and our three boys, Cohen David, 6, Elliot Dasher, 3, and Jonah Oaks. We love spending time together, slow paced days, our big extended families, good music and movies. I love old houses, homemaking, the simple beauties in nature, and collecting way too many vintage floral skirts that can fit into my small old house closet. I take a lot of photos of my boys and have been writing diaries and stories from our days on my blog "Things Like Skeleton Keys" for the past 5 years. I like to think my older self will be very thankful that I did. Also, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." Steel Magnolias