Make Memories with Your Kids
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Babs: All me life flashed before me eyes... It was really borin'.
This quote from the claymation movie Chicken Run (2000) resonates with me more than I’d like to admit. I’ve always wonder – if given the chance – what I would think about when I’m at death’s door.
This may be a leap, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be reminiscing about the highs more than the lows, which convinces me that I need to focus my time on making more good memories. I guess that’s why I really appreciate my Mom’s advice. She always tells me to “make time for making memories.”
Don’t spend boo coos of money on elaborate vacations or expensive gifts to create a memorable moment with your child. Deep down, they just want you.
Memories that Never Fade
My favorite memories weren’t planned at all. They were just everyday situations in the Goodwyn household.
Late at night, during my teenage years, I’d lay in bed with Mom and big sister, Abby. We’d just sit there and talk… mostly about frivolous stuff. I remember laughing and crying as we opened up about the difficult places we were at in our lives. It was our late night, boudoir therapy. Honestly, I felt comfortable revealing my thoughts, dreams, and fears to my Mom because she had already proven to me that she’s trustworthy.
Every fall, like clockwork, my Dad would rake the leaves allowing us kids to flop around in the piles (even though we messed up all of his work). He’d fill up the garbage can with mounds of leaves and plop us on top. It was the ride of our lives. Pushing us down the street, we’d come up to the edge of the trees. With a harder shove, Dad continued pushing our trash can car into the dense forest. Thump… he’d drop us onto a pile already there to cushion our fall. We’d laugh and run around as he emptied his work into the middle of the woods. A few hundred steps into the forest we would find our absolutely favorite spot of all… a single lamppost that rose from the ground. It seemed so out of place, but we didn’t care. It was our Narnia.
Mom and Dad weren’t bothered by our presence. They welcomed us into every part of their lives. A chore became a chance to take his kids on an adventure. She spent time with us after a tiring day, when she could’ve easily just told us to go to bed.
Parents, Take Action
Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.
- Theophrastus from Diogenes Laertius,
Lives of Eminent Philosophers (372 BC - 287 BC)
What better way to show your love for your kids than to give them your time? It’s a tangible expression of how worth it they are in your eyes. Our Father in Heaven is the same way. His desire to commune with us is a mirror into the importance of parents spending time with their children.
Can you think of a time when God’s presence was so real that you wanted to stay there forever? In that moment, you made a memory with the Lord. I’ve had times like that in my life, times when I could tangibly feel His presence so strong that I didn’t want to move because I was afraid I’d lose it.
Kids need to know they can have that kind of bond with mom and dad. I’ll never forget the talks I had with my Mom or how my Dad’s big bear hugs engulfed me. I felt loved in those little moments. I felt accepted, worthwhile.
Kids aren’t adults-in-progress. Don’t wait until they grow older to try and develop a strong, meaningful relationship with them. As a parent, you are much more than a potty-trainer, chauffer, tutor, and babysitter. You are their spiritual leader, a sure and safe refuge, and a constant companion.
Also, try not to make parenting seem like it’s a horrible job you’re stuck with. Take joy and pride in being there for them. They will open up if they don’t feel like they’re a task or a bother to you.
Dad showed me that I was important enough to listen to by turning off the television when I wanted to talk. Actions speak much louder than words, especially in the eyes of a child. So, act out your love to your little ones (no matter their age).
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