1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 18? Before you can say "cheese!" your babies are out of diapers, tweens are buying prom dresses -- and bam, you are the proud owner of a whole adult person. While it's impossible to seize every single moment, there are some experiences with kids that are worth celebrating. And, the good news is, a few are events you can plan for.
Introducing the "Before They Leave Me" list, a way to prioritize fun activities to do with children in the midst of afterschool commitments, overly rushed dinners and, well, life. On the Jamaica Plain Patch site, columnist Anna Rubin wrote about her motivations for starting a list like this:
I decided to create my own bucket list of sorts ... A list of things I would like to do with my kids before they get too old to enjoy them, before they don't want to do things with their (stupid) parents anymore, before they leave for college. This is a fun list to create because I get to dream. Anything can go on it, even crazy, outrageous, silly things.
Similarly, Jennifer Lawson aka The Bloggess, has a Pinterest board of "stuff I should do with my kid before she's old." It's filled with images of hand puppets, DIY art projects, children having batting practice with colorful balloons and magic forts. In other words, a collection of ideas that are so pretty, you want to dive into your screen and start playing.
These women got us thinking -- what would be on our list of things to do before our children aren't children anymore? (Because as anyone who's watched "Peter Pan" knows, "I won't grow up" just isn't an option.) The ideas below come from members of The Huffington Post newsroom, staffers who are knee-deep in parenting as well as those who are just dipping their toes in, thinking about having kids, one day.
Read through and then tell us: what would be on your list? Use the comments or tweet your answers to @HuffPostParents with the hashtag #beforetheyleaveme. We'll feature your brilliant ideas in a slideshow.
BEFORE YOU GO
LOOK: The "Before They Leave Me" List