My kids had school off today in honor of Rosh Hashanah. (May all my Jewish readers be blessed!)
Not being observant Old Testament folk, we New Testament crazies went hiking. By “we” I meant “me” along with Stink, Pip, Tyler and Miss L.
Can I just say how lovely it is just to be with these little souls? We didn’t hike long, nor that far, but we swung on ropes over dried out creek beds, climbed up dusty trails, scampered up angled cement walls under a free way over pass, picked up frogs and attempted to avoid stinging nettle and poison oak.
While hiking, I put to use my new motto: listen. I didn’t try to talk too much. Instead, I let them speak. Instead of focusing on tics (and yes, they are still there) I focused on the fact that my sweet little eleven year old still finds hanging with his mama to be pretty cool.
It’s dawned on me, with all the changes that are happening both in my kids’ bodies, as well as my immediate world of work and family, that my opinion doesn’t mean much anyway. I don’t say that to be self-depricating. I simply mean that my feelings are not going to change the ebb and flow of the tides.
With that in mind, it has become ever more imperative to not try to stop the waves, but instead, ride them. Or let them crash. Or watch them from a far. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I get to let them roll. I must enjoy my life no matter what.
Today, I practiced that with my kids and their friends. In listening to their views on everything from school to bugs to dating (oh, man, are we really at that curious stage?) it became more and more clear that hearing them is a pretty brilliant idea.
Someone reminded me a few days back that it’s not always what we DO with kids. Sometimes 15 minutes is all we need – a good solid 15 minutes of doing whatever they want – and a bond can form.
Since 15 minutes of actual bonding with my spouse was all it took to produce these amazing life forms, I’m thinking that advice was pretty dead on. I might never get those fifteen minutes of fame, but if I have a relationship with my babies, I’ll be just as happy with my fifteen minute plan.
What about you? With all the hustle and bustle of life, do you take an intentional fifteen minutes every day to really sit with your babies and chat with them about their dreams and hopes? I’d love to hear about it.
Until then, Lord, help us to accept the tics we cannot change, change the tics we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.