I’m not a TV watcher . . . I have trouble sitting still long enough to enjoy an entire show. There’s always something more productive pulling my attention away. I’m a multi-tasker extraordinaire and if I can’t be doing a minimum of 3 things at once then it must be nearing midnight.
One day several years ago I was multi-tasking at my very best . . . you know, the ol’ frying chicken while sweeping the floor and folding laundry routine, when a distant conversation from the family room TV caught my attention. It was Oprah interviewing a little girl and it would change me from that day forward. It would change the way I interacted with my husband, my children, my friends and complete strangers. It was something little, yet so huge . . . THAT was the lesson to be taught.
Oprah had documented the last days of a mother dying of cancer who used her final months to make videotaped messages for her young children. She was leaving behind words of wisdom about living – about falling in love, doing laundry, first dates and prom. She and her husband took their children to Disney World and beyond during those final months, anxious to imprint memories in the children’s minds, knowing her time with them was short.
Sadly the young mother died and afterwards Oprah invited her family to the show. Thinking they would comment on the amazing trips they made together, Oprah asked the children about their best memories of their mother. The little girl quietly responded, “I remember once when my mom asked me to get her a bowl of Cheerios and we ate them together.”
The chicken was burning, the broom hit the floor and all folding of laundry ceased. I stood still in my tracks and was hit with this little girl’s memories of her mother like an 18 wheeler.
It isn’t the big things, it’s those little things . . . I would be forever changed.
It’s so true when I think back on my life it’s the little things I cherish . . . eating chocolate ice cream on my Daddy’s lap. An oversized spoon full would first go in his mouth and with each bite he left the tiny leftover lump of chocolate goodness on the spoon for me, his little curly haired tomboy. I would be hard pressed to remember what my birthday presents were each year, but I can tell you how my mom and I would pick wild flowers in the field, or how my big brother and I would pour salt on slugs to watch them disappear.
Now raising my own three children, following big dreams, planning out a perfect future, I stop for a moment and once again hear that little girl’s voice “I remember once when my mom asked me to get her a bowl of Cheerios and we ate them together.”
It plays over and over in my head; it’s the little things, the little things, the little things.
This multi-tasking Mama is slowing down and listening to that message . . . I’m soaking in all the little things and plan to give my children, my family and my friends a treasure of little things to remember forever. Who’s up for some Cheerios, we’ll eat from the same bowl!