On Being a Parent: Plugging the Kids Into Family
It happened! 2018 has come into our lives.
Time continues to march on, with 2017 only a memory. I think about the phrases “time flies” and “savor the moment,” and know that we do our best, but also interferences prevent us from forming new special moments, despite our best efforts.
I’m the mother of three sons and I can tell you, one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t do as well as I should have at learning to savor the moment. But sometimes I did, and I have wonderful memories from those planned times.
Savoring doesn’tjust happen; it is something you have to intentionally plan. It’s reaching out and grabbing time, and enjoying its hours and minutes to the max.
A mom recently told me she dropped in at her daughter’s house close to meal time. To her surprise, she found her daughter sitting on the kitchen floor, reading a book to her little girl. It made no sense until Sarah explained: “I was in the middle of preparing dinner when Lilly came in with a book and wanted me to read to her.”
Rather than send her away until a more convenient time, Sarah turned her pots and pans on low and sat down on the floor, beside her daughter, and they giggled and looked at pictures and enjoyed the story. More than likely, if Sarah had explained she was busy cooking dinner, that they could read later, Lilly would have busied herself with other things and forgotten about her book.
It is funny, or maybe not so, that no mom knows precisely what the heck she is doing when first leaving the hospital with an infant. We parents learn by trial and error. It is a balancing act to make sure the parent remains the parent, not giving in to every whim of the child, and yet still making it clear the child is an important part of the family.
Forget that New Year’s Day resolution time is behind us; any time you decide to start to plan family time is as good as any.
One mom told me that she became irritated over the holidays at seeing her grandkids spending all their free time on their phones, or playing video games. She decided to make a change.
Believe it or not, she purchased a box of dominoes. Though it sounds crazy in our electronic age, they had fun playing together. They had never seen dominoes! Though there is a possibility this was a one-time happening, she is hoping they will ask to play again!
I challenge you, as we have a brand new calendar with clean pages before us: unplug the kids! A good word for family togetherness is “therapeutic.” Let’s help young ones occasionally experience the real life found outside of television, cell phones and video games.
As I watched my son push our granddaughter, Ashley, in her special purple swing over the holidays, I thought back to times when he was a little boy and how time flies. There is not a single trip, ballgame, party or family outing that I regret. Though his memory is not as keen as mine on things I left undone, he’s taking seriously little suggestions on making moments count with his own child.
As for Ashley, one of her favorite places to visit is Nana and Pop’s. She asks often why we can’t live closer. I’m thankful that I have a second chance to get it right with my grandchildren.
Parenting is frustrating, and is sometimes a lonely place with tough decisions. Learn from those who have been parents! Work hard to savor moments! You won’t regret it as the years pass.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” — Mother Teresa