Today I am feeling the urge to beg all of you out there to take a minute. Just one. Maybe a couple (depending on how generous you’re feeling).
Every parent has a grand ability to whine about their children, complain about their shortcomings, mope about our personal deprivations. We can find the negative in a not-so-negative situation, make obscene claims about the problems our kids create for us, and simply snivel to outdo the sniveling of our parental peers. I do all of these things too, so I’m certainly not lecturing. But…….
Today I had a conversation with my son. It involved nonsensical topics, such as flying with pixie dust over Mount Peak Never Hood, stealing a baby chicken from his mommy and daddy and giving him a ride back home in my helicopter, and ended with a song that went something along the lines of, “I love mommy, daddy, Mabel, Chloe and meeeee!”
Today I had a conversation with my daughter. It was about as “conversational” as you can get with a 14 month old. It involved handing her a treat and telling her to give it to the dog, asking what noise a lion makes, and watching her sign “baby” with a beaming smile of pride across her face.
Today I broke up two fights between siblings (one which involved rivalrous smacking), and both ended in tears, then hugs. I watched them make each other laugh by playing peek with dust cloths, throw macaroni noodles across the floor, and squawk goofily less than two inches from one anothers’ faces.
In each of these moments, I knew I was taking a minute. Just one minute to NOT worry about dishwashing or laundry. To NOT crank out that final work project from my laptop while PBS entertained my kids. To NOT scold, halt or even slow them down. I took one minute to just let them be. And, when I participated, it was all the more amazing.
I challenge you to take tomorrow and wrap yourself up in “minutes.” Become involved. Get excited. Take part in the lives of your children and watch their merriment elevate when they realize you’ve joined them in their own game. I guarantee I won’t remember the day I didn’t do the dishes, but I sure will cherish that time I played pirate catcher all around town from the comfort of my own Honda Pilot looking for buried treasure at the local coffee shop. Just try it. You won’t regret it.
Here is us nerd-os playing pirates today in the car. My little Mabel has some serious dedication: