Have you had a good, long cry today? Get out the tissues, because there's no way to get through Quinn Linzer's story without tearing up. She's just 9 months old, but the Long Island baby has a to-do list that could exhaust a grown woman.
Only Quinn won't ever be a grown woman. Doctors have told her parents to "go home and love her" because they can't treat Niemann-Pick Disease, Type A, the rare disease little Quinn was born with. She isn't expected to live much longer than a few years. That's where the to-do list comes in.
The Linzer family has already checked off about a dozen experiences they wanted to make sure their daughter has while she is on this planet. They have nearly 40 more to go.
The list itself will make you weepy. It has everything from huge undertakings -- Disney -- to simply playing with a puppy.
But what really got me was listening to Quinn's parents describe how they came up with the list. As Eileen and Brett Linzer explained:
We're not concerned about crossing off each and every single item. We're trying to do what we can, what we think will be fun for her.
Fun for her.
How do we decide that for our kids?
Because really, this is something all parents need to think about, not just parents who are facing a devastating medical diagnosis. Even if we're the lucky ones who get to see our kids graduate and head off for college, our time with them is still precious, and we need to figure out how to use it wisely.
So what do you do?
Do you try to repeat all your favorite experiences from childhood? Do you try to give them all the experiences you missed out on as a kid? Do you try to cater to their likes or try to expand their horizons?
I'm seven years into this mothering thing, and I still haven't figured out the perfect recipe. So far we've done a lot of things I never got to do as a kid and some of the things my husband and I loved most as kids. We've tried to cater to her interests and tried to make her step out of her comfort zone. And we're still learning. We're still doing.
Maybe that's the key? To always have a to-do list with your kids, not necessarily to check off each and every thing on it but to make sure you never stop doing ...
Check out this sweet little girl and her family and tell us ... what's on your to-do list?
Image via Brett Linzer/YouTube