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“This Time Last Year…” A Family Reflecting Activity

May03

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“The days are long, but the years are short.”

When raising small kids, the milestones are much anticipated: the first time your kid sleeps through the night, first time to walk, first time eating an entire meal without help…

It happens so fast, and the celebrations are momentary before you move on to the next milestone.

Earlier today I was thinking about how pleasant it will be in a year or so when my toddler can communicate with me better, but I almost forgot how it wasn’t all that long ago he wasn’t even walking yet! It’s easy to lose track of how far your family has come, and also how much your family has changed during the year.

We’re so often looking forward to the next thing, so every once in a while, I like to practice looking backward.

We have a game we play in our family: “This time last year…”

This year we are living in Italy, Tom is learning to walk, Lane is looking forward to starting kindergarten, and my husband and I are spending a lot of time together.

This time last year, Lane was hosting tea parties and looking forward to being a mommy (so she can wear my clothes!) Tom was being spoon-fed cereal while wearing a cowboy bib, and my husband and I were patiently looking forward to everyone sleeping through the night.

This time two years ago, Lane was learning how to ride a trike, and Tom was making me buy swimsuits in maternity sizes.

This time three years ago, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment, Lane loved dressing up, and I was quietly hoping for the second child.

This time five years ago, I spent Mother’s Day weekend nine months pregnant, lying on the couch wondering about how my life was going to change forever once we added kids.

So much can change in five years, or even one! What was your family doing this time last year?

About the author


http://smallnotebook.org
Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it's so much easier to be a parent when you're not surrounded by a ton of stuff.)


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6 Responses to ““This Time Last Year…” A Family Reflecting Activity”

  1. Alissa May 03 at 1:39 pm Reply Reply

    Right this instant I am making a video for the grandmas for Mother’s Day, so it’s easy to remember what we did this time last year. We were packing in preparation for a move to a new house. We were mourning the loss of an awesome dog. And the little man was learning sign language, walking better, and LOOOVED to swing. Now we have a new dog and a kid who never stops talking. He still loves to swing, though.

  2. jm May 03 at 9:28 pm Reply Reply

    I love this idea.It puts the ‘I’m stuck’ feelings into perspective.

    I was inspired: http://like-seriously.blogspot.com/2011/05/this-time-last-year-five-years-ago-ten.html

  3. Minka May 04 at 10:41 am Reply Reply

    Thought this was a great way to gain some perspective. Weird how, often, in order to stay in or enjoy the moment, we need to reflect on the past. Life sure is some tricky sh*t!

    This time last year I was preparing to move across the country, to leave the beaches of California for the land-locked midwest and was freaking out.

    This time last year I was still recovering from the swine flu and was depressed that I’d had to withdraw from the Los Angeles marathon because I came down with aforementioned flu a week before the race after training for four months.

    This time last year, I was getting our kids excited about their new home: bigger house,bigger yard, swimming pool, better school, living closer to grandparents… while privately dreading that none of this would matter and that they’d end up miserable and hating me.

    This time last year I drove through a hellish concrete maze of traffic sparsely ornamented by palm trees.

    But this year — my kids have a ton of friends, they are doing exceptionally well in school, they are happy and healthy, I get to look out my window at deer and beautiful tall trees and drive along peaceful roads (on which I try not to kill said deer, though damn — they are EVERYWHERE), I’ve met extremely kind, sincere people who have welcomed us with genuine friendliness (which is like, a shock, after living in L.A.), and we are (unexpectedly) enjoying living closer to the grandparents.

    Looks like I’m lucky after all. Oh — and last year? I was slowly going insane, worrying that my career would go to hell after leaving L.A., but this year? I’ve started blogging. And the support I’ve gotten from my readers and other bloggers has been my salvation. Looks like I had to leave the beach to find the real beauty in life.

    Thanks for making me take stock!

  4. Emily May 07 at 2:52 pm Reply Reply

    This time last year, I was expecting our first and I thought I had a substantial belly bump (I didn’t). In May, hubby felt the first kick and we got our first and only ultrasound and hoped it was a girl, but told them we didn’t want to know, so we didn’t find out. Right now, my sweet daughter is talking loudly in the jumperoo and gnawing on her shirt. We are patiently waiting out the last 6 weeks before daddy comes home from Iraq.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] my friend jm, who was in turn inspired by Rachel Meeks (whose blog, Small Notebook,  I enjoy) on alphamom, I thought this reflection exercise was a good way to gain perspective after the sleep-lacking days [...]

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