An unwelcome detour turned into an unforgettable moment

**It’s that time of the year, when the Christmas rush starts to loom down on all of us. Stress can easily seep into what should be a more enjoyable time of year. But…it’s inevitable…there’s just so much to do. So…in my effort to bask in the holiday moments with my family, I thought I’d share this post that is still so dear to my heart. I wrote it almost exactly one year ago today. And? Look at the facial expression on my son below. A timely reminder for me to try and purposefully slow things down and take it all in.

Enjoy and do your best to bask in the joy and magic of this time of year with your family. There’s Christmas lights to be seen, movies to watch by fireside with hot chocolate in hand, Santa letters to be mailed, Gingerbread houses to be decorated, and don’t forget that darn Elf on the Shelf (yes, we have one and yes, we love him).

Oh, and if your child asks to take an impromptu detour to the park even though it’s not on your schedule for the day? Just do it. I promise, you won’t regret it.**


When I picked my son up from school on Monday, I had a lot on my mind. Exactly one hour was all we had to run a quick errand, go to the grocery store, and then off to pick up Little Sister.

I see him and immediately remind him that we’re in a bit of a rush.

His face slightly drops. But, I thought you were taking me to the park so I could ride my bike.

My face drops.

Oh yeah, I think, I did promise didn’t I? Looming deadlines, unfinished Christmas cards, and lack of groceries swirl around in my head. I don’t want to, I think with immense guilt. But, I did promise.

So, off we go…to the park.

He hops out of the car, eager to get on his bike…no wait, I want my scooter first.

Helmet is secured and he’s gone.

I drag myself to a nearby bench and sit. I can’t help but think of my unfinished business. I check my phone for any new emails. Now if only I had my Christmas cards, I could start addressing them.

Mom! Look at me!

He’s rushing toward me with a crazy, albeit joy filled look on his face. I’m a little worried he’s going to crash and burn.

Come on mom…follow me!

I reluctantly put my phone away and get up. I follow my boy…in boots that were not necessarily made for walking.

His excitement, his joy, his living in the moment…it’s immediately contagious. I feel my body relax. I follow him along that tree lined path that is gorgeously strewn with newly fallen leaves. I start to jog (awkwardly, I might add) so I can be closer to him.

Watch me ride through the leaves.

I do. I watch. I stand there amazed at the beauty around me. Him. The trees. The leaves. The crisp, cool air.


He fades into the distance as he loops around the path. All I can hear is ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum as he scoots over the pavement.

Then he reappears with that crazy face. Full of light and joy.

He is relishing in every single second. Soaking it all up.

He runs, rides, and plays with pure abandon. His joy is unadulterated by looming deadlines or tedious to do lists.

He is just being. He is in the moment.

And I want that.

I want to be like him.

This kid who loves life. Loves being outside. Loves riding bikes, being chased…flying like the wind through those leaves.

What a cool kid.

The coolest.

And, I almost missed it. Almost missed those precious 45 minutes with my 6 year old son.

It’s only now, in the quiet of the night when the kids are asleep and no one is whining, complaining, or kicking each other under the table, that I truly realize what a gift those moments were.

I will no doubt spend the rest of my life trying to recreate moments like that.

An unwelcome detour that ended up being a moment seared into my memory forever.

My moment with the coolest 6 year old in the world.

**This is a special re-posting and was originally published on December 15, 2011**

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20 Responses to An unwelcome detour turned into an unforgettable moment
  1. Sherri
    December 15, 2011 | 6:49 am

    Oh, you’ve got me teary…this is just perfect. How many times each week do we think “I don’t have time!” when really sometimes time is all that matters.

    And you had to know I would love this…xo

    • Melissa
      December 15, 2011 | 7:18 am

      I know Sherri. I feel like I think “I don’t have time” a million times a day. So glad I didn’t pass this one up. He’s growing up so fast…he made me stop and enjoy it for once :) XO

  2. Kris
    December 15, 2011 | 7:23 am

    This was beautiful. Thank you so much for the reminder to slow down. I fall in the “I’m too busy” camp way too often.

    • Melissa
      December 15, 2011 | 7:29 am

      Thank you, Kris. I do, too. It was a rare day, when I allowed myself to be slowed down…and it was really worth it :)

  3. Myiesha
    December 15, 2011 | 7:39 am

    I know the feeling! “But you promised!” Ugh.

    So…I’m VERY careful about my promises (as I’m sure your are too). So this (because ‘you promised’ excursion) was meant to be…was meant to happen EXACTLY as it did that day! Congratulations for recognizing that!

    Isn’t it just amazing how much your children teach YOU about LIFE…and make YOU a better PERSON *because* of who they are?


    • Melissa
      December 15, 2011 | 8:43 am

      Yes, they really do make me a better person and force me to slow down just when I need to :)

      Have a wonderful day Myiesha!

  4. Sandy
    December 15, 2011 | 10:30 am

    This brought tears to my eyes too! Beautifully written and moving! Perfect for this hectic time of year when all we’re thinking of is present shopping and sending out Xmas cards. Love this, Melissa!

    • Melissa
      December 15, 2011 | 1:22 pm

      Thanks so much Sandy. I get teary eyed reading it too b/c it reminds me how grumpy and hesitant I was to fulfill my promise. Thank god for our kids, huh?

  5. Dina @30ish_Mama
    December 15, 2011 | 1:38 pm

    Really, is there anything better than playing with our kids? Nope.

    And you captured it beautifully. We should be more like them.

    • Melissa
      December 15, 2011 | 1:47 pm

      I know, I really do want to be more like my kids :)

  6. Kim
    December 15, 2011 | 3:44 pm


    So happy you enjoyed the moment, many may have missed it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Adriel
    December 15, 2011 | 8:12 pm

    And that, my friend, is what Christmas is all about. So precious. :)

  8. Niki Buchan
    December 16, 2011 | 3:08 am

    This is what creating childhood memories are all about – what a worthwhile investment. Thank you for posting

  9. Alison Buckley
    December 16, 2011 | 7:21 am

    Beautiful post! Thank you so much for reminding us to draw in a breath and soak in our surroundings each day. So much fun.

  10. Practical Parenting
    December 16, 2011 | 9:12 pm

    This is beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. I spend 45 minutes playing Mr. Potato Head with the kids this afternoon…their smiles were ear to ear and we just enjoyed an afternoon together. I never regret it when I leave my phone in another room and just focus on what’s happening right in front of me.

  11. Stefanie
    December 21, 2011 | 12:08 pm

    I absolutely loved this post! Thanks for reminding me to slow down and enjoy these moments!

  12. […] An unwelcome detour turned into an unforgettable moment […]

  13. Amber
    December 30, 2011 | 3:49 pm

    Beautifully written! But I must disagree, I have the coolest (almost) 6 year old lil boy! Tee hee! Love your voice.

  14. The Singing Pediatrician
    December 6, 2012 | 1:34 am

    I often don’t stop to process the day until I’m getting ready for bed. It’s then that I remember – “Hey, my kids are pretty great!” I walk in their room to tell them, but they are already asleep. The next day the cycle starts again and affection can get lost in the rush. But today will be different – today, I will tell them how great they are before they go to sleep! And hopefully tomorrow too. . .

  15. The Singing Pediatrician
    December 6, 2012 | 2:01 am

    Oops – and I neglected to say: great (re)post! Being a parent has definitely helped me become more flexible. To detours!