It's been nearly a year since our world changed, when the pandemic hit a great big pause button on our usual hustle of school drop-offs, swim lessons, birthday parties, trips to Target for essentials (and impulse non-essentials), playdates and family vacations. In a flash, the meticulous planning of our lives was gone, deleted from my iPhone calendar with a few swipes.

My calendar was empty, but the vestiges remained: a half-completed science fair project involving invisible ink on the dining room table; a new bathing suit intended for a much-needed parent getaway to Las Vegas; your March birthday party at a movie theater, canceled.

It feels like this past year was me finding new ways to disappoint you. A year of no.

"No, we can't play with friends today."

"No, you can't skip virtual school."

"No, the trampoline place isn't open."

"No, you can't sleep over at grandma and grandpa's house."

"No. I'm so sorry."

Our lives have been this way for so long, it's hard to remember the times B.C. Before COVID. But the nature of anniversaries is they give us a chance to look back and reflect.

I often worry how this year has impacted you. What will stick out, what has made an impression?

Somehow, despite the sadnesses, the losses, the mental (and physical) grind of this year, little moments of joy found their way through the cracks.

When this is all over, I hope you remember those little moments.

Instead of the time we spent apart from grandparents, I hope you remember the hundreds of FaceTime calls with them, reading stories aloud and playing games together from miles away.

I hope you remember placing the final piece of our 1,000-piece flower calendar puzzle we put together for days on the dining room table. I'm sorry I blamed you whenever I thought there was a piece missing.

I hope you remember our dance parties in the family room after dinner, shuffling through a playlist of Lady Gaga, Fitz and The Tantrums, and Paw Patrol songs.

I hope you remember mashing the soggy bananas and cracking the eggs when we made banana bread for the umpteenth time.

I hope you remember staying up late for our Friday night movies, when mommy and daddy introduced you to the Rockford Peaches, Jack Sparrow, and the Mighty Ducks.

I hope you remember our stained fingers when we tie-dyed shirts on the back deck, our colorful projects baking in the July sun.

I hope you remember delivering homemade treats to friends' doorsteps. Those homemade bagels and soft pretzels were so good, remember? We should make them again.

I hope you remember the extensive pillow and blanket forts, instead of my exasperation over how messy everything looked.

I hope you remember the Christmas we spent at home, cozy in fleece pajamas, playing with your new toys all day long with nowhere else to be.

I hope you remember the feeling when I let go of the back of your bike and you kept on pedaling, wobbly but confident—a girl on the go with the world in front of you.

When this is all over, I hope you remember those little moments.

When this is all over, I know I will remember them. Always.