Can You See Them? Have Some Fun with Your Children
by Charlotte Siems
Life has been busy lately and I bet you can relate. Besides the usual grocery shopping, housekeeping, phonics and math, we were out of town for a few days for annual church meetings and that always throws me off. For at least a week.
Seriously, when the whole family takes a trip it usually takes about a week to recover. Laundry, regular bedtimes, getting back into the routine—you know the drill.
But we can get so focused on routine and order that we forget fun and taking a break.
Yesterday I realized that it was time to have some fun with my children. Do you ever get to that point?
Most of my life I haven’t been very good at having fun, but that’s who I used to be. I’m glad we can change and become who we are supposed to be, instead of remaining stuck in old patterns of living.
The girls have been interested in butterflies lately so we decided to visit a local bird sanctuary with lots of weeds and flowers. It has nice walkways and a gazebo, so we packed up sandwiches, fruit and nature identification books and headed out on an adventure.
The short trip across town didn’t exactly set the stage for a romantic, peaceful day. A certain little girl wept bitter tears during hair brushing on the way. We found that the books didn’t make it to the van. It was hot and very windy, and for a few moments I considered calling the whole thing off.
We pulled into the rocky parking lot and the girls were out the door, except for the one who wasn’t completely dressed yet. We buttoned her shirt, changed her shorts, installed flip flops and had a nice conversation about how to stop crying and have self-control (which worked quickly).
We walked along the sidewalk, pointing out various species of butterflies and birds. Then we took the boardwalk across the water to the gazebo, where we had lunch. The breeze was cool and lunch was delicious. We didn’t stay a long time, but the girls asked if we could come again soon and we agreed to visit on an early morning.
I don’t know what it is about an outing like that, but it can be a perspective-changer. Little kids look cuter, their questions sound sweeter and their growing-up more heart-wrenching in a place where we’re relaxed and focused on their pleasure. Seeing them in a different setting wakes us up to the fleeting nature of childhood. It’s almost like time slows down and life moves in slow motion.
My question today is: Can you see them?
Do you really see who your children are and how quickly they will grow up? I promise, if you are so blessed to spend years and years raising them, they will grow up and leave home and life will never be the same. Your children will be adults most of their lives—and most of your life, too.
I know that’s hard to believe when you’re knee deep in diapers and math books, but it’s true.
Make sure that routines and grammar don’t steal your relationship with them. If you feel that dryness creeping in, take off and have some fun with your kids. It will help you see better.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.