So the other day, I came across a video called The Other Letter on Facebook. I watched it half heartedly, not sure what to expect. And what I got was a beautiful reminder of what our kids really want.
Like many parents, I stay pretty busy. Between marriage and family, my photography business and our many church activities, and trying to keep up with house things, it seems like time is a pretty precious commodity these days. Case in point, I’m typing this blog at 12:53am, knowing that if I don’t, I won’t get it done because tomorrow will be a pretty full day. And I’ll admit, there are times that I spend with my kids, half present and half occupied with whatever else it is that needs to get checked off my list for the day. There are times that they want to do something, but all I can think about are the many things that need to get done.
Also, like many parents, I want our kids to have the things in life that will make them happy. Christmas is fast approaching, and already my mind is spinning with wondering what perfect gifts I can buy for our kids this year. For the record, I feel like I fail a lot in that area. We’ve mostly tried to raise our kids without spoiling them, but it’s resulted in kids that aren’t super enamored with toys or “stuff.” But without fail, every Christmas, I run around, buying this or that, convinced that this will be the year that they absolutely love the toys and gifts I think will bring them happiness. What it’s resulted in, is a load of toys that were played with once or twice, and a Mom disappointed that she once again, pretty much wasted money.
And I write this all for a reason. Because I want to remind myself about what is true in my life. My kids could really care less about toys and stuff that I buy them. What they care most about, is spending time with me (and their Dad too, of course).
Today, Christian asked me to go outside and play football with him. And I glanced around at the chores that I could have been doing. But remembering that video I had watched, I said, “Of course.” And he was absolutely delighted.
Normally, Daddy is the one who plays football. Because to be honest, I’m terrible at it. I’m not very athletic, and I don’t like things being thrown at my head. But I laid out the ground rules (mainly please don’t throw the ball at Mom’s head) and off we went.
And I have to admit, it was pretty fun.
Sure, I was pretty awful at it. Many of my throws were bad. But we had quite a few laughs and pretty soon I let go of my non-athletic inhibitions and just had fun with our son.
I know that the truth is, that my kids don’t care that I’m a terrible football player. I know for fact that they don’t care much about the random stuff that I could buy them. What our kids really care about, is spending time with us. They want us to meet them where they are at, even if it’s playing football which may be outside of our comfort zone. And when we give them our time over giving them stuff, we have a great time and make some pretty fun memories as well.
*Photo credits to our darling Ellee who was gracious enough to take Mommy’s big camera and capture some of our football fun this afternoon.