Cherish Every Moment, I Miss You Already

Once I became a mother, I began to better understand the cherish every moment phrase.  Almost 30 years ago, I recall my mother say to my face “I miss you already”.  I giggled a little and said, “I’m standing right here, how is that possible?”  Just the other day, that very memory came back to me and hit me like a ton of bricks.

Looking back over the years, have we been able to Cherish Every Moment? The time has come to say "I Miss You Already". Preparing for the upcoming changes. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

Back in the 90s

I had already graduated from college and had been away from home for a few years.  After living in San Diego for a while, I quit my job and was off for my first open-ended adventure.  I was all set with my cat, a car, a boyfriend (which didn’t last), and no return date in sight. (That’s an entirely different story to tell one day).

Before going on my journey, I headed back to northern California to visit my family.  When it was time for the good-bye hugs, my mom said, “I miss you already.”

Fast Forward

Another 10 years had passed and I had met and married Alan.  We had a new baby boy on the way and I was going to do everything by the book.  I was going to enjoy the moment, do everything just right and love every minute of it.

Lars-giving-Anya-a-hug

In The Beginning

I tried my best when the kids were little to cherish every moment.  We did it all, but it was also full of feeding schedules, work, naps, stress, and more stress.  I was running from here to there, errands, a big house, a big yard, a husband, 2 kids, a dog, and the list goes one.  It was just normal life for us all and I was only doing half the work, Alan was doing the other half.  It was all so much and yet we all just do it and get through it.

There are so many wonderful memories and moments, but most of the time was spent planning, scheduling, cleaning, cooking, working and so on.  That’s because the kids were little and dependent upon us to completely look after there every need, whimper, smile, and sleep.

Home in the USA, we had it all and the hamster wheel too.

Growing Up

As the kids were a bit older it was entering the tween phase.  Oh goodness, what a refreshing time to have deeper conversations with them and enjoy a bit of fun.  Of course, that did sometimes come with a bit of attitude, boundary-pushing and the like.  Thankfully, it was short-lived for each of the kids!

Island Gem Picnic Anya and Lars doing their happy dance.

We were able to explore Europe and Southeast Asia with fresh eyes.  Fortunately, we were also able to meet some amazing people in our travels, all of whom had a positive influence on our kids.  Amazingly, we all keep in touch with almost all of them!

Next, we are into the teen years!

How is it that ages 1-4 and 10-13 seemed to last twice as long as 4-10 and 13 -18?  Each phase seems to have its own pace and once we hit 13, the time has flown by.  Now more than ever the words “Cherish every moment”, mean so much more.

Here we are, with our oldest baby approaching 18, high school graduation, and next off to university.  Anya and I were driving around town running errands and just speaking about Lars living away from home, later this year.  We will write more about that another time.

Times Square New York

Did We Do It?

I’d like to think we created a life for our little family to live in the moment.  I know we’ve captured bundles of priceless memories and are ready to set our kids off on their own. We are weaning ourselves from them, watching these independent young adults flourish.  We hope we did it right and provided them with the tools they need to enjoy life, be kind to others, and a little bit of wanderlust too.

I Miss You Already!

Out of nowhere, I felt this ache in my stomach.  I blurted out the words “I need to tell Lars, I miss you already!”  Then it all came rushing back.  That very moment when my mom said those same words to me.  Wow, an epiphany. I finally get it!  I finally understand how you can miss someone when they are standing right in front of you!

Cherish Every Moment

So here we are being slowly weaned from a daily life with Lars.  He is often busy, studying, dancing, hanging out with friends or exploring.  So we take each moment we get and make the most of it.  

But looming in the back of my mind…

Anya is just 2 years behind him!

So she and I have had this fun thing lately.  I’ve needed to go do research and take photos for upcoming blog posts I want to write.  Most of these are day-trip activities from our area and I am building up a guide for day trips from Almuñécar. 

We’ve been to the wetlands park, crossing a dam, checking out towers and vista points.  We’ve been exploring looking for needles in haystacks, as I haven’t been 100% sure where everything has been located. 

Each time, we’ve been out a few hours and having loads of laughs in the car. Anya always plays the DJ, so I never know what’s in store for me.  It is usually some Spanish, French, or English rap, hip hop, Reggaeton, and club music.  Once in a blue moon, it will be the Beatles, Marvin Gay or Aretha Franklin.  She has such an eclectic taste in music, but it is fun.

Of course, she giggles the most when she knows there are some “bad words” in French or Spanish and I am singing along cluelessly!  

Strike A Pose

The first time she and I went out, she came along with the hopes that I could also take a few photos of her.  Well, we did it up and came home with about 175 photos taken and just about 75 of those were Anya striking a pose. 

We even goof around and pretend she is a high fashion model and I try to push the button on my camera to take loads of photos, as it isn’t one of the hold down the button and keep shooting kinda camera. “Work it girl” and other phrases are just so cringy they make us bust out in laughter.

We were at the wetlands in Motril and had the best time.  There we were in the little birdwatching hut with my point and shoot camera and Anya taking selfies with her phone. Meanwhile, just next to us were 3 pretty serious bird watchers.  Each with a professional camera and a lens at least a foot long!  

Bird Watching Charca de Suárez Motril Wetlands

We still think we took some great photos and had a little more fun than the other people walking around.

Bird Watching Charca de Suárez Motril Wetlands

It’s Just Included 

Now it is just part of the fun and we just automatically include a little mini-photo shoot where ever we stop.  Just at the off chance one of the photos will be that perfect gem for her to keep.

We’ve explored little nearby villages to write about their upcoming festivals.  We’ve been lost trying to find the exact little frontage road leading to the dam.  This is all full of giggles, loud music and I am sure plenty of stares by others. There have been a few times, where we’ve been in a bit of a pickle too.  Down a narrow road in a small village, or briefly stuck in the mud and things like that.  A little mischief and excitement go a long way.

We loved driving through the canyon and looking for rock climbers too!

Cañón del río Guadalfeo

Time Is Running Out

I know how fast these next two years are going to fly by, so I am trying to soak it all up and live in that moment.  The other day she asked if I wanted to go out for a drive and photoshoot.  I just didn’t feel like it and didn’t really have any pressing ideas of what I wanted to write.  

A couple of hours later, I thought to myself “What the heck are you doing?  You have a 15-year-old daughter asking to spend time with you, are you nuts?!”  So I went downstairs and asked if she still wanted to go. I let her know I was nuts and she agreed and then the fun began on the right note!  It was off on an exploratory drive on the N340 to Nerja! 

N340 to nerja views along the way

We stopped at every lookout point to catch each and every view.

I can’t wait for the next one.  Maybe Lars will join us!

I get it, Mom! 

Lars & Anya, I miss you already!

Tell us about a cherished moment or an “I miss you already” moment you’ve had.

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About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

10 thoughts on “Cherish Every Moment, I Miss You Already

  1. Hard to believe in 3 short months our John Riley is graduating. I had the same epiphany last week when planning our travel over the next few months (and realizing he may not be able to join us on those adventures…). We are proud, sad, and hopeful all at once!

  2. Heidi, beautiful and moving and so on point. I’m grateful that I have watched you and Alan nurture and teach Lars and Anya to enjoy a life that includes adventure, learning and with such a positive attitude. I totally connect with I miss you already.

  3. Beautifully expressed Heidi. The ‘in between years’ (i.e., high school to Uni) are a difficult transition period for both parents & children. Having third culture kids (TCK’s) adds a layer of complexity to the process. For parent’s, it’s a time of self examination, reflection and questions: did we made the right choice for ourselves and our children? The important thing to remember is we made these choices with the best of intentions & love for our family. We hope our children understand we chose a different path, in the hopes it would make us/them better, stronger, more resilient individuals that can help our world that is in such need of people who are open to broader experiences, different cultures, to address issues that have never been experienced previously.

    Our world is getting smaller, thanks to radical improvements in technology and transportation. These advancements are both a blessing and a curse, for ourselves and generations to come. We can’t solve all the problems, but we can try to help our children, and theirs, to make choices that will help our world to be a better place. By giving our children experiences outside of their passport culture, we hope to open their eyes & minds, to recognize the beauty of our world and develop solutions to our world’s existing & future needs. This is our job as parents: to try to make this world a better place, to give more than we take.

  4. Aw, Heidi! Helps me understand my own mom, and what’s coming –we’re wrapping up our first trimester.

    Big love to you and your clan.

    • Oh how exciting Mike! Congrats to you both. We miss you ahnd wish you all of the best! Keep us posted. Maybe once our kids are both in university we will get back to some nomadic travel and bump into you guys.

  5. Loved this post, Heidi! In fact, when I was leaving Virginia last week, I said to Jamie and the kids (who were driving me to to the airport) I miss you all already! It is hard to be away from any of the family, but especially my 4 little great grandkids who change so much and so quickly.

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