My friends with older children always encourage me to create as many wonderful memories as I can with Isabel during the blink of her childhood. “Savor the years,” they say, “when she wants to do things with you, because soon that will change.”

I’m already seeing shades of this truth. Walking into preschool last year, Isabel asked me to walk three steps behind her. I was so embarrassed, but apparently the feeling was mutual!

During the February school vacation, I was determined to create some quality “us” time and took the week off from work. Isabel loves art, so I signed us up for private art classes with Nancy, a local artist who specializes in parent-child classes. We chose to make a seder plate, and I encouraged Isabel to decide what to paint. On it she wrote, “Isabel and Mom,” and painted a smiley face.

The class was amazing because for one hour each morning we were “art partners” who enjoyed each other’s company as we created a “masterpiece” together. There were moments when I wanted to give art direction, but I was committed to creating something that was equally ours, so I bit my tongue and discovered we could work in sync.   

It turns out we created two things–a beautiful seder plate and a memory we will both cherish forever.