Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Build 'Em Up -- The Joy of Playing With Our Kids
Today is the 2nd installment of this four-part series on what's right with our journey into motherhood's deepest successes. Missed week one? Read it here. I must confess that I don't really know where to begin today. Enter my stream-of-consciousness.
It has been documented here more than a few times that I am a worrier. Furthermore I worry about my kids' behavior, manners, and independence--or lack thereof. Sometimes as a family we will venture into public dressed like little angels. Then their mouths open and produce the sound of screeching brakes. The crazy train has arrived. Now boarding.
When having moments of self assessment or personal clarity I realize this: at the times of their most unkempt behavior, my children really just want a little attention. But they are children. They are physically and emotionally unable to verbalize their every need. As both adults and caretakers we have the great responsibility of discerning what our kids need.
I do not believe that kids whine for sport, even though it often seems so. Kids get bored, feel neglected, or even overstimulated. For example, we recently took the kids to the beach for spring break. (More on this trip will be documented soon.) Four hours into the road trip they grew restless, despite having every 21st century amenity possible--DVD player, iPods, Leap Pads, mom's phone apps, etc. They desired the most primitive of life's enjoyments: quality time with family. So we pulled out an old tried-and-true game of Road-Sign-Alphabet. Do you remember this as a kid? You would carefully look at billboards, truck signage, and strip malls for an "A", "B", and so forth. This lasted for a good 30 miles and produced many giggles. The warmth you feel by entertaining your kids and fostering their imaginations is irreplaceable.
I have already read some other posts in this series where bloggers are confessing their addictions to instagramming the "moments" rather than truly existing in the moments. "Checking in" on Facebook rather than checking into the experiences. You're not alone. I am there right along with you.
Right now my family has crazy schedules. Bobby coaches middle school baseball, Rob plays U-6 baseball, Caroline and William are on their own time- and needs-agendas. But you don't have to spend all day together. It's called "quality" time not "quantity" time. When your children are young they have no concept of time. The 15 minutes you spend completely lost in play with them will last a lifetime in their hearts. I can tell you that a quick 15 minutes of playing baseball in the yard, a brief game of Candyland after dinner and before bath, a short wait in Rob and Caroline's "restaurant" while they serve up some plastic peas are going to affect them far
more than how many "likes" your FB status received.
That said, remember my post yesterday on being a work in progress? I've just typed my way into painfully guilty feelings. I'm signing off for now. I have some beautiful babies who want to spend time with their mom.
PS: The fabulous bloggers responsible for this series have some enlightening things to say. For further reading, check out Kelly at Kelly's Korner who struggles to keep the balance between wife and mother, Jennifer of Life In The Green House who has learned how to stop multitasking and accomplish so much more; Erin, a.k.a. The Blue Eyed Bride, talks about being the mommy of boys; and Lil Light O'Mine where Courtney offers a great list of 10 Tips For Playing With Your Kids.