April Jeppson: Life is but a moment — enjoy it now

Published 8:45 pm Friday, March 17, 2023

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

This year will be the third St. Patrick’s Day that my family will be celebrating while on vacation. A sneaky little leprechaun always wanders through our home and hides a pot of treats somewhere in the house. So our family now has a tradition of going on a scavenger hunt first thing in the morning on the 17th.

April Jeppson

Previously the treasure consisted of cookies that were food colored to look like gold medallions. One year the children woke up with a few toenails covered in green nail polish. A few times the milk was colored green. However, when you’re on vacation, you have to think outside the box. Living at a beach condo with only access to the local 7-11, last year took the cake on creativity.

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Anything with a green wrapper was fair game. Sprite, mint gum, sour apple candies, jalapeno chips… What I thought may be a disaster, ended up being enjoyed by all. It reminded me that sometimes it’s the effort that matters more than the actual outcome.

Tonight a tired Leprechaun is leaving clues around my brother’s house. I know he has about 12 things he still needs to do before we can leave tomorrow, but I also know that he cherishes these moments as much as I do. My youngest still has some of those characteristics that make her so squishable. That’s a term my family uses when they just want to hug someone, (usually a baby or small child). Even my youngest has used it when talking about toddlers that she finds adorable. Ooooh I just want to squish her!

I digress.

My 9-year-old is still a child. In fact both my 11- and my 14-year-old are children, too. Sure they may be a tad wiser, but they are still so sweet and squishable. Yes, even my lanky, taller-than-I-am son, is squishable to his momma.

So I digress again.

I read something once that said you only have 18 summers with your kids so make the most of it. Well you only have 18 of anything really. Birthday parties, holidays, spring break adventures and leprechaun-fueled scavenger hunts. So maybe I say it’s because we’ve got a little one that we do some of these things, but in reality, I want to do them as many times as I can before I’m no longer able. Someday I’ll wish I had something to stay up late for. Someday I’ll wish I could give up a bit of sleep, just to spend a bit more time with my children.

Today is the day I can do these things, so I will.

Perhaps you’re in a different season of your life. Think about all the things you wanted to do when you got to where you are right now. When I retire, I hope to go for walks in the morning and breathe in the fresh air. I want to spend some time volunteering, and I want to take my grandkids on little adventures. Who knows what my life will be like in 25 years, but I hope I appreciate the freedoms that retirement brings.

Until then, I’ll try my best to enjoy the moment I’m in right now, because I know that it’s just that — a moment.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears in the Tribune every Saturday.