From the past: The Joy in Errands


While I take a few deep breaths in August, I’m pulling out some old favorites from my archives. Maybe these go back to before you knew me, before you found yourself in my little space here. I hope so.

The funny thing about reading your own archives is that it is part sweet memory lane and part embarrassing at how awful my writing has been and part admiration at how far I’ve come. To keep that admiration in tact, and because this is a break after all, I haven’t edited any of these blasts from the past.

This one is more sweet memory lane but also a reminder that I’m trying to take to heart over the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Whenever a post from Rachel at Hands Free Mama shows up in my reader, I click on it immediately. While I have always made it a priority to put away all of our various devices when spending time with Baby, Rachel and her Hands Free revolution inspire me to be better. She helps me remember that simply going device-less does not a hands free mama make. It takes concentration and commitment.

Yesterday, I came across her post Saturday #286 on Scary Mommy (no, I don’t have the book yet but I’m dying to get my hands on it!). In the post, she talks about an article that I, by odd coincidence, read this morning while catching up on the serious stack of Parents magazines that have been building up for months.

I won’t do nearly as nice a job of summarizing the article as Rachel did so, go read her’s and then come back.

Now, my daughter is two-and-a-half. So we’ve spent just 130 Saturdays so far. I still have 810 left. 810 more Saturdays to hold her hand, live in her world, breathe her in. 810 more Saturdays to make thousands of memories.

baby blowing bubbles

Except it’s really not 810. Because inevitably, I’ll find myself traveling on some of those Saturdays. As she gets older, she’ll take trips of her own or go on sleepovers. I may have to work. She’ll have to do homework. I’ll get sick. She’ll get sick.

And suddenly I am dropping her off at college and dreading my return to an empty home….


Ok… deep breath.

As Rachel and the article, authored by Dr. Harley Rotbart (author of No Regrets Parenting) point out, the point is not to panic. The point is to realize that we have the time now. We should savor it, enjoy it.

Splurge on those small moments that you might have otherwise ignored.

Last week, I took Baby on a ‘quick trip’ to the grocery store in search of a key ingredient we were missing for dinner. It was 5:15. Rush hour at the grocery store. I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible to keep dinner on schedule.

It’s all good!’ I assured myself. ‘Ten minutes, fifteen tops, and we’ll be back.

Nearly 45 minutes later, we finally arrived back home. I mused to myself that nobody ever told me having a 2-year old means it will take 2 times longer to do things than it used to. And then I rushed to get dinner ready.

Now I’m looking at that errand differently.

From the very start, it was a memory.

Watching her decide which pair of shoes to wear. Which toy to bring with her. Chatting with her in the car on the way over. Listening as she noticed (and narrated) the world around her. Singing ‘Wheels on the Bus’ in the car because we happened to pass a bus. Listening to her debate which bag of rice we should buy. Watching her proudly carry the bag of rice to the register. Feeling her delight when I let her scan the rice herself. Chatting with her all the way home.

It may have taken me double the time. But in that trip, I made double the memories.

And that’s the point. As Dr. Rotbart noted, memories are certainly made during the big events, the big planned trips to the museum or big Sunday brunches. But they are also made when you simply splurge on an ordinary, everyday, ‘quick’ trip to the grocery store.


  1. This is beautiful.
    And I like seeing the photo of little cutie at a younger age.
    Des is so into errands, and sometimes, that’s all we do. For him, it’s big memories and a free cookie at the bakery and a free slice of cheese at the deli, and airplanes in the sky and songs on the radio.
    I love every second of it. And yes, even when it’s going to the dentist or trying on bridesmaid dresses. (with Scarlet in that case)
    Tamara recently posted..Taking It Easy With Old School Blogging.My Profile

  2. Love your blast from the past, and love errands with The Boy, so I can totally appreciate how precious those moments are. I enjoy the chats we have, AND the teamwork when he and I partner up to get those things that keep the household running done. He’s especially proud now that he’s in charge of anything needed at the deli counter. I’m not even allowed to approach!
    michelle @ this little light recently posted..Whatchoo-Wish-You-Were-Wearin’ Wednesday: Autumn FeverMy Profile

  3. I have yet to read “Hands Free Mama”- I fear I am missing something really good. i have always questioned the paradox of it all though- how does she blog and write and do all her ‘stuff’ with her hands free anyway? I am just sharing my ‘go to thoughts’ every time I see her name…


    Lovely post Tricia. Isn’t it amazing how much we grow as writers? I look back at some of my posts and think “oh wow- this really sucks and I remember how awesome I thought it was!!”

    This one? Definitely worth repeating.
    Chris Carter recently posted..Beauty Blooms in Hard PlacesMy Profile

  4. This is beautiful and a perfect perfect reminder that we make memories all the time from seemingly insignificant tasks. I love how you put this and OMG they are growing up so very very fast…
    Kristi Campbell recently posted..I Used to Believe in Pet Rocks, and that Plaid Pants were the BestMy Profile

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