As Our Kids Grow Older: Appreciating Every Smile, Every Moment by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead

Parenting Motherhood
4 months ago
As Our Kids Grow Older: Appreciating Every Smile, Every Moment

My son just turned 11. Last night I left a gift in his room. This morning he woke me with, “Thanks, Mom. I love the Dead Pool shirt.” I’m not a morning person but today I woke with a smile. You see, my son isn’t as free with his “thank yous” and smiles these days. He’s stingy with his hugs and “I love yous,” too. He’s asserting his independence. He’s trying to figure out who he is. He’s trying to find his place among his peers. Life can be tough when you’re a 5th grader. (Life can be tough when you’re the MOM of a 5th grader.) 

He devoured two (requested) cannolis for breakfast and I saw that beautiful smile again. I treasure the smiles that I do get. I treasure every hug, every “thanks,” every “I love you.” If these past 11 years are any indication, I know time is going to continue to fly by. I will do my best to appreciate every smile, every moment. In his own way, I know my son appreciates it all, too.

Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Spot on, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead ! As the mom of three teens, I can definitely affirm every word of this, thank you! Hug your kids for me!!
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Thanks, Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds! I know the teen years are right around the corner (sniff)!
Laurie Balles Simpson
Yes, yes, yes! It's such a strange place to be as a Mom. Thank goodness for those smiles every once in a while.
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
I am so grateful for them! If our kids only knew how much we treasure them!
Christine Jones
Love this Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead ! As a mom of a 16 yr old boy (and also a 10 &7 yr old) it definitely can be a challenge getting a thank you or affection from the older one. But I have to say by listening during those times when he did need to talk like Laurie Balles Simpson mentioned in this post mom: It Doesn’t Seem Like My Teen Likes Me Anymore – But I’m Grateful That He Loves Me and gifting him a Deadpool shirt and letting him eat Cannolis for breakfast he will know how much you love him. My teen always tells me how thankful he is to have me as his mom b/c so many of his friend's parents are just wrapped up with the younger kids or yelling about grades. These little moments are what it's all about.
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Thank you for this, Christine Jones! It brought tears to my eyes. Glad I'm not alone, and glad to hear (from the mom of a 16 year old, no less!) that what I'm doing will make a difference in the years to come!
Katie Sloan
Time never moved so fast before I had kids. I love those treasured smiles and hugs!
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Some days I just want to freeze time! :)
Gail Harris
This is a tip after my own heart @amghalstead. My son is 14 and his appreciation is pretty non-existent. But that's ok. Still appreciating all the wonderful moments when I am present to them. That's my intention
Toni Graham
Beautiful tip Mama. Its so important to appreciate every moment. Great advice, beautiful story!
Sheryl Gould
Ann Marie - I LOVE this. My son is now 24 and I just saw him over Easter weekend. I miss those moments when he lived at home! It does go so fast. It was the simple things with my son that were so connecting when he was a tween and teen. Being present in the room (saying less made him talk more), making his favorite food and appreciating the smiles! I'm going to post this on my Facebook Moms of Tweens and Teens site. I find I want more articles about parenting boys that speak to mom's hearts. This one does. Thank you!

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

A Note to My Teenage Daughters: You Are Too Old for Me to Babysit!

Planning a Road Trip Is the Perfect Opportunity to Teach Kids Real-Life Geography & Math Skills

Summer Learning Loss: How to Turn Everyday Moments Into Learning Activities for Kids

Got 30 seconds? Sign up for 30Seconds.com and get the best of our tips each week!