More than often, we choose the stuff to do that seems to have the biggest priority. But what is our kids' priority?
Being a parent brings a lot of responsibility. The kids are precious little beings that need our attention. Sometimes, that attention of ours needs to come in the form of pure fun.
It may be so that from the grownups' perspective, things that you have to do to run the family successfully may seem more critical than to entertain your kids. And often, the only time that is left for us to devote to the operative tasks are the weekends.
But we should also more often put on the child hat and think what they would want. Ask yourself if your children want you to do all that serious stuff that they often don't understand, the weekend after weekend? Or would they prefer that some of the weekends you devote your time and energy to them?
Do you have enough freshness to enjoy your children? Is it easier for you to turn on the TV for them or, in the best case, invest some effort to find a good animated movie and let them watch it? What do you do when they distract you from your work? Do you reach for your phone or a tablet and give it to them to buy some quiet time for yourself? How do you feel when you look at them after they spend hours on the screens?
I'm not always a good example, I admit. Too often, I let my kids immerse in virtual reality while I try to create something. I'm in constant battle, though, to find the right balance. I can not all the time entertain them and give them all my time. Otherwise, I would not start this blog. 🙂
But there are days when I say myself: "This day is for my children. I am devoting myself to them. I'm one of them". And I give my self into it.
Saturday Afternoon Fever
I could have stayed at home on yesterdays' Saturday afternoon and do "more important" things. The flat is a mess and needs cleaning. We prepare for a renovation, and there is a ton of activities to do around that too. Or I could have a nap and watch a good movie after that, relaxing.
Instead of all that, I've invited my daughter and three of her friends for ice skating. It's COVID 19 time, and the number of skaters is limited to only twenty-five persons even though the skating rink is in the open. Many are interested as it's the only skating rink that is working, and we had to be there for an hour and a half before the start to grab our spot.
The girls were pretty lively, to be modest in the description. We were the noisiest and restless group in the line. It was cold to stand there while they were playing wilder and wilder around me, and I thought what was inevitable to thought in those moments: "Did I need this?"
But it didn't stop there. Finally, the staff started to let us in, and we should all put our face masks on. Then I realized that two of the girls didn't bring it. I forgot to warn the parents about that. Now it was black in front of my eyes. I thought the staff was not going to let them in.
The girls started to pray Saint Mary to make us all pass. 🙂 They looked so sincere about it (like they are children), and my bad mood started to melt. In moments like this, I remember how it is when you're a child, and everything seems possible to you. You know everything, and everything you imagine or think off is real (until we, the grownups, tell it differently.)
Anyway, those two sneaked in somehow, covering their faces with the clothes, and we were on the ice! But alas! We should have our masks on the ice too. And in one moment, the staff member noticed our two girls without the masks. He called them and told them that they need to leave the ice if they don't have it.
Girls came to me and asked what to do. We hid for a while out of his sight. Luckily he was not so strict and eventually "forgot" about us. For the remaining time, it was even more fun for the girls than pure skating. They played seek and hide with that man, and they were more teasing him than hiding.
While driving back home, the party has just begun. Girls were in such a good mood after all the fresh air, excitement, and the chocolate that they started to jump in the car. And I have accepted it, turning up the volume. I was all cooked; I was theirs.
Seeing them enjoying their time so much was my reward for all the effort I've invested in that afternoon. This experience erased all the difficulty I experienced earlier, and I was delighted as much as the girls. Receiving the parents' thankful messages shortly after, describing how their daughters were delighted with the whole event, was the cream on top of it.
Shortly after that evening, my daughter and I have watched Klaus; the animated movie just made for the winter, Christmas time (and after ice skating time, of course). I highly recommend watching it together with your kids.
The thing is, the days that you give away to your children does not just bring joy for them; it ennobles you as a parent. I still feel its effect through the day after I did it for my daughter and her friends. It does so much for the emotional recharge that will warm me for the whole week in front of me.
Lookup for the child in you, then look around for your children and take them for that fun adventure they dream about. If you need permission to put all the serious stuff you need to do on hold, you have it. I give it to you! It's approved!
Just for a day, let the magic control your feelings. Let your kids have you as they would like you to have. Just today, choose to be a Santa Klaus. 🙂