grow

My Favorite Time of Day

It’s my favorite time of day.
I arrive at least 20 minutes early so I can be the first in line.
So I can be the first to watch him turn that corner with an eager look on his face.
So I can watch his dimples gleam and his smile spread from ear to ear as his eyes meet mine.
An anxious look of a toddler excited to tell his Mommy all about another adventurous day at school.

I know these days won’t last forever.
He won’t always be this excited to see me.
And I won’t always be 20 minutes early to pick him up.

There inevitably will be that one yucky day where the to-do’s of every day life cause me to perhaps forget his after school pick up time.
Because every parent makes this dreaded mistake once.
Every parent breaks their child’s heart at least once.

So for now, I’m holding onto this moment.
And I even brought a camera along one afternoon to capture it.
So that when he is a grumpy teenager,
and I’m picking him up 5 blocks away from school,
and he shrugs as he throws his backpack into the trunk…
When that time comes…
I will pull out these pictures and remind him,
that once upon a time…
this was the bright spot of his day too.

Once upon a time I was perfect in his eyes.
Before he learned that I was human.
Before he learned that I made mistakes.
Before he learned that I was imperfect.
Before then…
I was his hero.

And so for now,
I will keep showing up 20 minutes early.
I will hold his hand and kiss him in public.
And I will take in every single ear-to-ear grin.
And every single giddy embrace.
And hope I can be perfect in his eyes for a little while longer.

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Kayla
    October 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Ashley, this is precious! I don’t have a child, but I remember being SO excited to see my momma and little brother after school! I guess I was one of those rare kids who like being around and talking to my mom during middle school and high school. But my brother… we have to pry to get information about his day (he’s a sophomore now). Cherish the moments! LOVE your blog!!

  • Reply
    misty
    October 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    So sweet, it brings me tears. So precious is the present moment.

    xoxo,

    Misty

  • Reply
    Anna
    October 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Wow you’re lucky to hear about his day – my 3.5 year old just started preschool a few weeks ago and I’m starting to wonder if they make all the kids sign some sort of secrecy act when they close the doors! Still, I get that same big smile when I go to collect him – these really are moments we should treasure before school days are done. Thanks for reminding me that! Anna x

  • Reply
    Monkey
    October 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    He is just my pride and joy! You should have seen my face while I was rading this post. He is the light of my life and I had no idea I could love him so so much! xoxo love Grandma

  • Reply
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats
    October 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    aww this is so perfect. I have a little boy too, and another one on the way. I read your posts daily and feel like I can relate so much. I worry every single day about how things are going to be once this new baby is born, how Im going to share my time, how my little man will react, how Ill feel. Its somewhat comforting when I read about your experiences going through the same situation. And then I read this post, (and the one about you not being the only one in his life anymore, how he gets excited and runs up to his teacher) and I cry just thinking about that day. Im so in love with this little boy, I never want to have to share him or lose him to anyone else. This post is great, and such an amazing moment to capture. I love what you write.

  • Reply
    Bethany
    October 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Such a beautifully written post, as always!

  • Reply
    Krista @ mk inspired
    October 2, 2012 at 1:01 am

    It’s the best part of my day, too. 🙂 I’ll be sure to have my camera with me at the next pick up. Sweet, sweet post.
    Krista

  • Reply
    Megan
    October 2, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Your words and pictures brought tears to my eyes!!!! This was a very sweet post!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Dawn
    October 2, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Sweet post, and I’ve gotta say…I’m loving the new blog design! The top banner is awesome. I’ve watched it scroll through several times already. LOVE it!

  • Reply
    gillian greding
    October 2, 2012 at 4:56 am

    okay, that was so sweet. you are the nicest mom. why is your favorite time of day my least favorite? 😉

    PS- the new blog design is flipping hot! girl genius can rock a blog!!!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Oh gosh, this one got me. My little man is only 3 months and I already dread him leaving me!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Love this post, makes me a little teary eyed to think of my son being all grown up and pretending not to know me, sigh.

  • Reply
    Dani @ Me and My "new" Life
    October 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    ahhhh….this was sooooo sweet. I was all teary eyed…My little one is in day care all day and the min my car turns the corner and she spots me it’s soooo much excitement as she runs to the fence saying “momma, momma, i love you momma….hi momma…” I should bring my camera and video camera to capture it!!!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 3, 2012 at 1:07 am

    That is absolutely precious. Your site actually makes me wish I had had a boy! My girls are 10 1/2 and 12, and sometimes I really miss the “little” days. You are right-they are over before you know it. Glad you can appreciate it and enjoy the moments! (Wish I could have more!) 🙁

  • Reply
    Jen B.
    October 3, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Aaaaaand I’m crying now. 😉 I’m right here with you on this one. Picking up my boys from Kindergarten is my favorite thing – they smile and wave and tell their friends “that’s my mom!” when they see me. It melts my heart. I know they won’t always be so attached to their momma, but right now they are my little buddies, and I’ll take that for as long as I can!

  • Reply
    Mindy
    October 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I love how you brought your camera to capture it! It’s my favorite time of day too as my daughter runs to me <3

  • Reply
    Shauna
    October 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Not even a Mama and you’ve got me tearing up over here! I have a friend with a little boy who just started school recently, so I just had to share this with her! :]

  • Reply
    Rachel Nicole
    October 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    So well-written and beautiful. <3

    xoxo,
    Rachel Nicole @ Summer Breeze

    rachyracheshobbycorner.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Hayley
    October 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I LOVE this time too! My baby is in first grade!

  • Reply
    JustAnotherMummy
    October 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I think I may need to stop reading your blog, just until I’m not pregnant anymore. I was bawling by the end of this post.

    Beautiful an heart touching, as usual.

  • Reply
    Megan McDonald
    October 10, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Are you kidding me?! SUCH an adorable little guy! You’re a lucky Momma! 🙂

  • Reply
    Southern Wifey
    October 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    oh I cant wait to be able to do this with my son! for now, I get to do it with my niece every once in a while and let me tell you, the grin that shows on her face when her fav aunt surprise her by picking her up from school and taking her to get candy afterwards, is the most amazing smile ever!

    the sweet life of a southern wife

  • Reply
    Amy
    October 19, 2012 at 3:58 am

    Love this post! I agree, picking up my little man from school (or gymnastics, or Sunday school class, or wherever!) is a highlight for me. The look on his face when he sees me and hearing him say “Mommy!” as his whole face lights up- Best. Thing. Ever! Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. One day things will change, but I am thankful everyday that my little man gets so excited to see me. Enjoy the now!

  • Reply
    HERVE LEGER
    March 22, 2020 at 11:01 am

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