Tuesday Treasures #2

Treasure:  Noun: “anything or person greatly valued or highly prized”
Verb:  “to regard or treat as precious; cherish.”

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for, to care for tenderly; nurture

Today’s treasure is about my kids.  Thinking about what I highly value and cherish, nothing tops my kiddos.  This is the norm for most of us, but this week’s treasure is about the TIME I get with them.

Time is a gift we don’t often spend too much energy thinking on or paying enough attention to in my opinion because we are too busy living.  We have busy lives; getting kids to school, getting off to work, shopping, running errands, making food, paying the bills, etc.  Often we are so busy taking care of life, that time goes by and we don’t seem to stop and think about how fast it all goes.  We might think about it for a moment, try to slow down and enjoy it, but we are often pulled to the next thing.

Maybe because I have teenagers and I am looking at one of them graduating in the next 8 months, (early), the process of looking at and applying for colleges is upon us and I am preparing for a new season, I may be more sensitive these days to treasure the time I get with them.   Maybe because I share them with their Dad and do not see my kids every single day, I am often aware of how fast the time is going.

But I wanted to talk mostly about ways to make the most of the time you have together. In our house, none of us are big TV watchers, so we spend more time playing games together, talking,  sharing stories of our days, cooking together, etc.  I have always tried to make sure that we connect every day, all together and one and one with them.

Today I am treasuring that the past few weeks have seen quite a bit of TIME together.  From a crafty night with my daughter, to a dinner date with my son, to family movie night we have been spending more time together.   For most of their lives, I have lived alone with them, in an environment of an open space floor plan, so we have always been in each other’s spaces, A LOT (too much they would probably say).  I ascribe to the mindset that love grows best in tiny spaces, in my world that seems to ring true.

Because we are rarely facing away from each other (ie; facing the television) we talk more.  We share our days, our thoughts and our frustrations more.  Not that we all always get along, I am Mom after all and they are kids, but for the most part, things are smooth these days.  I am very thankful that even though my kids are now teenagers, they still enjoy hanging with Mom some of the time.

So I wanted to say; take the time to cherish the time you get with your littles.  Before you know it, you are looking at them running out the door to build their own lives.  We do no get any moments back and they all go so fast.  I once heard a woman speaker say that she loved every stage of raising her kids.  She didn’t wish for a different time, or to get through a particularly tough stage, she tried to enjoy each stage of raising kids because she knew it was a short season of life.   I had young kiddos at the time, who took every ounce of energy, I kinda thought she was crazy, how can you enjoy the constant questions, the constant needs?  But I have tried really hard in the past 5-6 years to really apply this thought.  To value each stage, to cherish the TIME I get with them.

I thought I would share some of the things we do in our home to show that we value TIME together:

  • We play the High/Low game.  My kids’ Dad and I saw this in a movie many many years ago and I adopted the practice once my kids went to school.  Every day after school I ask, what was the High, what was the Low from the day.  Everyone takes a turn sharing.  This has sparked many conversations, created laughs and been a way to connect with my kiddos, to show them that I value them, that I want to know them and about their worlds.
  • We have at least one meal a day where we all sit down together.  This can be hard to do as they are so busy with sports and activities, so this has not always been dinner.  Sometimes it has been breakfast.  Often times this family meal has been on the go, sitting in the car, eating Subway as we are waiting for practice to start.  But we try very hard to at least once a day connect over a meal, maybe just a leftover practice from my own childhood, but it has been invaluable for us.
  • As I stated, we do not watch much TV.  As a matter of fact, I turned the TV on the other day for background noise and my oldest asked if we could turn it off, she would rather we be able to talk.  When the TV is on, we become more focused on that than each other.  But we do have one or two TV shows that we do watch together as a family.  Usually, this is a funny 30-minute program where we have our phones, laptops, tablets set away.  It’s an easy downtime, relaxing, change of focus for us before we go back to homework or the night routines
  • We try to make sure we laugh together OFTEN!  One year I added this as a family goal, to laugh daily.  Since that time, we have made this a priority.  With so much chaos and sad things in this life, it can be easy to get depressive and down.  Laughter covers over a lot.  Try to laugh often as a family, the feel-good emotions it sparks in our brains is invaluable.
  • We create together.  Not everyone is crafty, but in our house, we find ways to share creativity.  I am a quilter and a card maker.  My daughter likes to make dream catchers and other items.  My son is into programming and working on his youtube streaming.  Each of us has some kind of creative outlet and we try to support each other.  That can be by helping cut out fabric, gluing something, watching or providing feedback, offering an extra hand.  Being supportive of each other’s interests creates value as well.

Giving kids our time, slowing down to make sure they know they are important, gives back ten fold when they are older.  I feel very fortunate that my teenagers still want to hang out with me.  That is the reward I think for parenting and investing the TIME into them, not just to discipline and train, but to get to know each other, to show them who we are, and see who they are separate from us.  As we invest in them, they, in turn, invest in us.  Treasure the time now, let them know how much you cherish them, giving our TIME is how they know this!


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