Can You See Them? Have Some Fun with Your Children

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 beI’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.
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headshot1 150x150 Mommy, I Dont Feel So Good:  Keeping Up When Life HappensCharlotte Siems is a home-maker, home manager, T-Tapp Trainer, teacher, speaker and author.  Her story of losing over 100 pounds with T-Tapp has encouraged thousands of people all over the world.  She specializes in making home management and T-Tapp “doable” for real people and real life.  She is happy to be a wife and mother of twelve children whom she has successfully taught at home for 25 years.

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5 Comments

  1. Charlotte, you make such an invaluable point here. Every time I step back and really look at my kids and really experience that moment of being with them I’m stunned at what I’m missing. Of course, I quickly fall back into the getting things done routine. But occasionally I remember and it changes everything. Glad you wrote about this.

    I wrote about how important it is to look up and take note of the world around us in this in another facet – https://www.yourhealthyhomebiz.com/look-up. Today with everyone being hooked to screens, we need these reminders even more!

  2. This was so wonderful and timely after a few nights of fussy baby and days of screaming toddlers. Thank you!
    tdresser
     

  3. Amen! With my youngest now a young adult all ready, how well I realize the truth of what you say. Those special outings were highlights. Even, yesterday, I stopped and really looked at the youngest and noted how mature looking he’s getting. We do need to really see them and have fun with them! Great post.

    To add to what Sarah said in her comment, I think we need to make a real effort to get together without any of our screens and just enjoying being in the moment with one another.

  4. Amen! Which is why I tell new mommies to hold their babies if they want to, don’t always make them “cry it out” and don’t feel like their babies are keeping them from “life” – their season as littles is too little to not savor.

  5. Thank you for the insight! Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the things we need to do throughout the day to remember to spend good quality time with our family. So far my husband and I have a wonderful 4 year old son who we love so dearly! Sometimes we just need to take a tickle brake and really play with our son! I love to hear him laughing and see his eyes light up while we are reading a funny book! I hope we can make time in every day to spend time with our family. God bless you!

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