If you are like me, you will never hear your children say, “It’s time for you to work now Mom. I’ve had enough play time for today. In fact, I can go for quite a while without playing with you or Dad, so please—go do your thing.”
No. Every day we hear, “Will you play with me? Wanna play the new game with me that I got for Christmas? Watch this, Mom! Look at me! Hey Dad—wanna play?” It doesn’t matter what it is either; it might be a Wii™ game, a card game, or just looking up to view their drawings or Lego™creations.
We will never offer our children too much attention! Heading into 2012 I have to ask myself, “Do we give them enough?” In our home we have the luxury and responsibility of school time, particularly with J. Michael. One day last year, he asked me a question that stopped my heart for a moment, “Mom? Why do you only want to spend time with me when we are doing school?” At first I found this comment to be QUITE unfair, but I will often see my youngest want more school time as well. It’s not really schoolwork that she wants. It’s me. So I took his question to heart and began to carve out time for what THEY believed was quality together-time… outside of our time devoted to schoolwork and other things that I believe are fun!
Reality: There are seasons when work and responsibility are on overdrive, and time when work travel even takes us away from time with the kids. I am ashamed to say that I probably couldn’t even count the amount of responses that I have given that have sounded like this: “Not now… Just a minute (which is never a minute, by the way)… Just let me finish this and then I will… not right now—I’m working.”
A greater reality: Children are forgiving. They are resilient! The truth of the matter is that while you may not ever be able to serve them enough time to be “full,” it doesn’t take much to quench their thirst to know they matter. Small, consistent doses of uninterrupted, together-time will cause children to quickly forget the past seasons of drought. It will go exceptionally further if you play together. They see our parental sides and our serious sides every day… it’s good for them to see the kid-side that’s on the inside as well. So, let your texts go unanswered while the hands of the clock go round about for a while. It’s time we can’t get back. Set the computers aside. Place your iPad™ in the other room for a time-out… and let your kids know that you’re ready for some time in!
Sadie loves to have tea parties. Today, I am recovering from a terrible cough and cold that robbed me of three good nights of sleep. It successfully abducted my voice, and left me with barely a whisper. I ended up taking my puffy comforter and my aching body to the floor to sit directly across her sweet face— a face beaming that in spite of my aches I accepted her invitation to tea! And I have to say that it was the BEST HOME REMEDY for this mommy’s healing body.
I am making room in 2012 for more and more together-time with both kids. Work will always be there. I want my kids, when they are fully grown to want to be there too. Together-time now will bring together-returns tomorrow.
So, in whatever ways you and I are able, let’s create more time for T!