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My daughter is blessed to have people in her life who love her and enjoy sending her beautiful things to wear. We spent lots of the holiday at home on the couch, reading and watching movies. I mostly did that in jeans (sometimes pajamas) but my daughter often chose to wear her new clothes. She came down one morning in a gorgeous print dress someone had sent her, for a day that involved little more than eating, napping, and possibly eating again.  I was all set to send her upstairs to change when something made me bite my tongue.

Yes, it was a fancy dress. But shouldn’t all our days together rate as special occasions?

We did the math this weekend, my husband and I, over a bottle of wine. In a little more than five years, she’ll be winging her way toward the start of a new life. Five years worth of weekends, of vacations, of Friday family movie nights. Less if you factor in high school, when I’m told those family nights become scarce. Suddenly 52 multiplied by five doesn’t seem like much.

I want every day with my kids to be special, to have meaning and weight and be a joyous occasion.

In my china cabinet I have beautiful cups and saucers that belonged to my grandmother. They’re fragile, they have to be hand-washed, they always seem like a little too much work to bring out and use. So they sit there, except on special occasions. My children have few memories which include them, which is a shame, because my grandmother loved those cups. She would have loved seeing us use them.

I think my daughter has the right idea. Our ‘best’ — best selves, best lives, best hearts — ought to be on display every day.

(Confession:  I did ask her to change out of her white ‘fur’ vest when dipping chocolate, however. There are some limits.)

What do you save for best these days that you ought to be squandering?

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