I lay on my sleeping bag feeling content. Sunlight warmed me as it filtered through the thin material of the small tent that I was inside. Within a few moments, I heard my Mom outside the tent. She unzipped the door and made her way inside.
You’d think that we were in the woods preparing for a night in the great outdoors, but we were not because we both despise camping. Instead, we were sitting in the tent that I had set up in my bedroom and were preparing to do something incredibly important: make a list.
The family was going to drive out to the great state of Colorado for a vacation in the next few months, so Mom and I decided that it would be best to bring our detailed minds together for an afternoon of list making.
I sat up in the sleeping bag and took one of the sheets of paper that Mom had brought upstairs. Before long, we were deep into the process of choosing which items would need to go with us on our trip. We talked through the various needs of each family member and lightheartedly debated certain things that we disagreed about taking. After close to an hour had passed, we had amassed pages of items that we could take on the trip.
We didn’t always end up using the lists that we made for each trip, but it didn’t matter because the process of creating a list was the most fun part. Some moms would find the task of making long lists with their child to be incredibly tedious, but my Mom didn’t. She took it as an opportunity to spend quality time with me.
This may seem like a silly or mundane activity, but I loved it. To this day, I credit my Mom for my love of list making and planning. I now work as an event planner where it is my job to make extensive lists of needs for the events that I plan, and I think of those simple times in the tent when I organize the needs for each event that I am planning.
It is remarkable to think of how quickly life goes by. I know that I wanted life to hurry up and happen when I was younger. I couldn’t wait to move on to the next bigger and better thing that I was sure was coming. Now that I am older (and hopefully wiser), I have seen just how much that wish came true. In retrospect, I wish that I could go back to those simpler times if only to remind younger me that it’s ok to live in the moment and that before I would know it, those times would pass.
I am happy to have a Mom who is still incredibly accessible. Even though we rarely sit down to make lists together, we still frequently talk to each other. I find myself planning my future out loud when we speak, and in its own way, it’s sort of like we’re making lists for the future again. Things will never be the same as they were all those years ago in that tent, but that is alright. I can look back fondly on those times and look at the current relationship that I have with my family with an immense sense of gratefulness.