It’s a saying that’s thrown around all the time, and one that doesn’t really seem to have much meaning generally. That is, until you’re a parent. Now, I see so many things on Facebook, either from individuals or in parenting groups, that go on about looking forward to the day your kid moves out and you get your life back.

But, to me, that really is missing the whole point of being a parent. You’re not supposed to be looking forward to when your child leaves. You’re supposed to take pride and joy in the little things about life with them.

For example, just today my daughter did something completely new. She was playing with her toys and looked up at me. When I stretched my arms out in front of me, she ran forward and threw herself into my arms. I’ve never seen her run that fast before, and she’s never come over for a hug when I’ve asked for it.

Another example would be the first time she stood up and walked three steps forward. And yes, these are moments that stop happening as your child grows up, but there are always other little things.

For example, I can’t wait to have my first dance with her, or to see the smile on her face after her first success (be it sports, academics or anything else). Even as they get older, you can take joy in their first day on the job, or when they learn to drive, or when they get a family of their own. But in the end, nothing will ever compare to the little things in life; those little moments with your child that fill you with love and joy.

Don’t take it for granted, and don’t let these moments pass you by. But most of all, don’t wish them away! Don’t sit there and count down the days! Because they’ll go faster than you know it, and you’ll be wishing to have them back soon enough.