Sunday, December 11, 2011

Making time for one....

Being a parent it is a continual learning process not only about yourself but also how you interact with your children and the things you do with them to help shape their lives. Let's face it, there are two sides to the coin when you have kids. On one side it is all shiny with joy, and on the other side, some of the luster seems like it is gone, when events have you pulling your hair, rolling your eyes and wondering what am I going to do with them. Now that my children have started to become little people in their own right with thoughts and opinions, I believe in making time for one.

Making time for one is essentially time without the other the sibling. Just like my ME day, it is important to spend some time with each child and do something with them without the distraction and interruption of the other. It is a time to have conversation, enjoy their company, and do something together that interests the child. It never ceases to amaze me how different my children are and by making time for one, I believe that I can understand them more.

So, this weekend, I made a point to make time for one. My 4 year old is in love with love, princesses, and public performances and I couldn't think of a better way than for her and I to go into town to see the local performance of "Cinderella" at Stagecrafters. This idea was almost grounded from the beginning, when I went in to get tickets the day before, and the woman told me they were all sold out for the Saturday matinee. Luckily another employee overheard the conversation about me wanting to take my daughter and sold me some extra tickets that she had bought. Whew!

I made a big deal of this with my daughter. On my run that morning, I thought it would be fun for us to dress up and head to Gayle's Chocolate's for a big girl drink and  special treat before the show.  I am not sure if I am being self conscious but I overheard how nice it was for a daddy and daughter to be out together on a "date" to the theater.

Hot Chocolate aka Big Girl Drink

Chocolate Covered Twinkie

We made our way to the theater, and as the play proceeded, I would look over at my daughter sitting on the edge of her seat.  She was so entranced by the beauty of the theater and that kids were performing a play that I thought this was a really great way to introduce her to the theater. During the intermission, we discussed what might happen during the second half, and I showed her that when the lights dimmed that we needed to get back to our seats. At the end of the performance,  she wanted to get autographs and pictures with Cinderella and Prince Charming. She soaked it all in and I am not sure which one of us learned a greater lesson.

Not to be left out, I made sure I made time for one with my son, as he and I headed down to the "D" and took in his first NFL game today. As you can tell, he took it all in.

As I was talking to my dad about both experiences heading home from the game today, he said it was all about making memories. Creating and sharing experiences with my children that they will hopefully remember as they grow up. It is certainly not a one and done deal here, as I found immense value and satisfaction from just getting to spend some quality time with them as individuals. Not every experience has to be as a family or in a group. Sometimes there is greater value in making time for one.

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