After a very satisfying Saturday morning run, I made quietly my way inside and headed for my shower. I was now ready to think about everyone else.
During my runs, I focus on myself, listen to a couple of podcasts and plan out my day. I basically visualize myself as Brain with plans for total world domination. If you don’t get that reference, you either weren’t a parent or kid tuned into Cartoon Network during the early 2000’s. That, I cannot help you with. But I can at least show you the theme song so you can get an idea.
Once I hit the shower, I shift gears and go over what I need to get done with the family. Every day I play catch and practice some baseball with my youngest. Sometimes I don’t want to, but I force myself. It’s a way for us both to have fun, be physical and it’s all about him. The hubby joins in on the fun sometimes as well, but mom is always game for a game. Get it? I know, too easy not to be cheesy. Ugh, sometimes I don’t know when to stop.
I take the kiddo to the batting cages every other day and we also have chat time most nights where he hops into the bed and we talk about school, friends, hopes, life, politics, world events and everything in between for a few minutes.
I’m going to be honest here, I rarely did this with my older son who is now grown and out of the house. And I regret it every day. I had no idea how fast childhood goes. I was so busy career & business building and being a baseball mom and carpooling that when I WAS home, I wasn’t really there. Then one day I blinked and he was gone, off to Afghanistan to fight in a war.
We had a lot of fun as a family and did spend quality time together, but I wasn’t quite as tuned in to the person he was becoming and enjoying him as I am with our youngest. We still did a great job, as today he is a man we are very proud to have raised. But how I wish I would have just hung out more with him and chatted or did silly stuff.
Seeing how fast the little kid giggles disappear have made me take immense strides to make sure I consume all of the joy that parenting can bring, even with the things we view as chores. Yesterday, my son asked me to show him how to stop his computer from running Skype every time he turns it on. I was in the middle of a project, so I told him that I would show him later. My project took longer than expected, and I didn’t get a chance to help him out before I went to bed.
Today, I sat down with him at his computer and walked him through the startup menu options in Windows and how to enable and disable programs. It may be a mundane thing to mention, but I see it as an honor. It’s an opportunity for me to teach my son while he still looks to me for guidance, and at 14, I know those days may be numbered. I also know that I have been able to stretch out the days of him still seeing me as wise and cool and fun to be around, because I actually work at being all those things for him.
When he is around his buddies, he doesn’t find the need to act like I’m stupid or annoying. Instead, he includes me in the conversations and so do his friends. And sometimes we all play catch together or talk about world events or dumb teenage jokes. And then my wisdom kicks in and I leave them alone so that I leave on a “cool mom” note.
Aside from stressing how important I truly think it is to spend genuine, quality time with your kids, I also have another point here. I said I would do something and I made sure I did it. By always keeping my word, I am teaching him a very important life lesson. Be a man of your word.
Think about all of the things you say you’ll do for your kids or with your kids and you just don’t get to it. We all do it, and we don’t really notice, because it’s our kids and we sacrifice a lot for them. But they are watching what you do so much more than what you say. So I challenge you to make a very concerted effort to really do what you say you will do for your kids. The effect is pretty amazing.
I love this post! I can totally relate. I can get in such good quality chats with my son just in the short time it takes to walk him home from the bus stop. Sometimes we’re so busy, but it’s so important to keep the communication lines open and physically “be there” for our kids. They grow up so fast! We need to cherish our time together.
word is bond. omg we used to say this and stand by all the time growing up in michigan and still say and stand by it. i can so relate to this post.
Aw it sounds like you have a lovely relationship and sometimes the mundane things are the things that last with us forever.
I love that you do this with your son. Teaching him about computer applications and staying true to the things you say definitely position you as a person he can go to when he needs help or guidance. I don’t have any children but I can only imagine how great it must feel to know he still looks to you as the cool parent. Sure your days may be numbered, but until then I say keep swimming in the good feeling you get now!!
Your word is your bond and when you give your word to a child you are teaching them so when you follow through. Letting them down you teach them a whole other ball game. Glad you are getting to spend quality time with your son, which he will always remember.
Love it! Thank you for teaching by excellent example. I feel like that doesn’t happen often enough these days.
Kids have long memories and they will hold us accountable for our promises. I hear you and agree with your assessment. Happy Holidays!
What a wonderful words! Words are bond and it makes relationship tough.
Aww it sound like you really do have a strong lovely reletionship and bond. On a side note – I use to love Pinky and the brain. xx
It’s great that you have a close relationship with your kids. I have a great one with my mom and as an adult I appreciate it. It sounds like you have fun with your son which is great when you can laugh together.
Thank you for sharing your parenting lessons with us. I always appreciate learning from other parents who’ve already been there. You are wise to honor your word. It’s everything.
It’s scary how fast they grow up. I feel that in the last two years I haven’t been doing much with my son. Not like we used to when he was younger. I need to do better.
Marielle, thanks for your honesty. It goes so fast. I hope you make the time & Happy Holidays!
What a beautiful post. I really need to find a word that focuses on my family like this. Bond is a great word as I feel it also describes my family.
Thank you Leigh, it’s a very special and powerful term for us.
I can so relate, my daughter is 12 and the time just flew by and as a single parent I spent a lot of time working. Now that I have more time, I really try and make the most of our time together because soon she will be off to college! Btw .. I loved Pinky and the Brain, they were the best! Merry Christmas!
Glad to hear you’re a Pinky & the Brain fan. Have a wonderful Christmas Marisa!
This is a great post and a great reminder! I try to do things with my kids, when I’m not too frustrated or anxious, that is!
Ah..this got me so emotional. The little kid giggles that disappear so fast. 🙁 : (
My children are young, with my oldest at 8 and I feel like he’s grown up too fast, too soon. I love the giggles and so sad to realize it won’t always be this way. Great reminder of keeping our word and connecting with our children. I always wish there was another me to help out be the mom and do “mom things” like set rules..lol. And I want to play and bond with my little babies all day, but always too many adult things to do.
Loved reading your post although it filled me with guilt. I do spend some quality time with my daughter but I fail too often to do the things I say I will. This is an eye opener, thank you!
It’s awesome that you take the time to teach your son new things, at 14, as you say, the days are numbered!
My son will turn 12 this year. I can totally relate to what you said. Bonding with the pre-teen is a major challenge – he is neither a child nor an adult – he has suddenly found a voice and opinion on everything. It is tough to maintain a balance between a mom and a friend. Fingers crossed for all of us.
Looking forward to reading more posts from you:
This is such an inspirational post. I am a mother to two young children, I sometimes I feel guilty because I feel like I’m not filling their days with a lot of us time. Even though we do have a lot of time together. I cant even begin to imagine them leaving the house. I do sometimes take it for granted and think ‘I still have a few years left’mm I think I must stop and cherish these moments.