I have this new plan with our kids, and it boils down to not just being a caretaker, but more of a partner in crime. The root of this lies in the face that some days I feel like I'm only here as a support person, feeding and clothing the kids, when in fact I'd like to be more involved in the things that really mean the most to them. I know this sounds a little hoakie, but there are times I feel really bad that I don't have time to spend more time with the kids, and end up putting them off when they request my presence. Then, at the end of the day, I sort of kick myself that I didn't make more time to spend quality time with them, besides in a supporting role.
The reason I feel this way is because it doesn't take much, even an hour out of the day, to sit and really focus on what they have to say or how they are feeling. It could entail reading them a story or playing guitar with A or playing catch with N. Simple stuff, but showing them that they are important enough to put aside whatever I'm doing to be with them.
Our kids are good at spending time alone and entertaining themselves, so it would be easy enough to tell them to go outside and play and leave me alone, but I feel that this flies in the face of why we became parents in the first place. Thankfully we don't watch TV, because that would be the end of it all. As I mentioned before, homeschooling actually makes time for us to be together doing a quiet activity, and I value these moments, but it's school work, so not as fun.
Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I need more to do, but when you really get down to it, having kids is the greatest gift of them all, and to ignore this fact and let precious time with them slip through your fingers is really a shame. R and I don't want to fall prey to letting our inflated sense of self replace our time with our family, because when you really get down it, there is always time, and often when we stress over schedules and out time, it is often misguided and unnecessary. Of course, our kids suffer accordingly. The sad part is, I think they eventually become accustomed to it and grow to have no expectations of our time. How sad is that?
Anyway, I think it's a good plan, we'll see where it takes us.
On other fronts, I tried pitching our family camping trip to Coleman and they gave me the big fat rejection, but I'm glad I at least tried. And, they were nice enough about it to reply right away, so I'm not complaining.
We also heard from KR, our guitar teacher, and A's lessons will resume, which is cool. We love the fact that A loves the guitar, and feel really fortunate to have such a wonderful teacher in KR. Deep down we think she likes A, and they get along so well. Music is the universal language that connects them.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Marko Malca for the pic.