It was a beautiful summer day and my son had an evening playdate planned with some friends from school. When trying to figure out how we were going to get everything in and everyone fed, an idea crossed my mind. What if we have a Mommy/Son date? We could go eat somewhere and then go to the park where we were meeting our friends. I presented the idea to my husband and son. My husband was all for it. My son happily obliged. We got ready to go and off we went. I let him pick the place to eat. He chose Culvers, which did not surprise me in the least.
What happened next was one of my most favorite moments that we have had together to date.
We talked. We talked about life. We talked about what he is excited about for the coming school year. We talked about what makes him nervous. We just talked. This date allowed me to hear from my son things that I never knew about or never thought to ask. I am a busy mom of three, and so many times I am spread thin and pulled in multiple directions at the same time. I am not able to always give 100% to each child at the same time. I am not complaining about this–it is just the reality of our life right now.
When we are busy working, managing our families, cooking meals, and so on, we get so lost in the doing that we forget about the connections with the people we are doing things for.
I feel like in life there are so many things vying for our attention. When we are busy working, managing our families, cooking meals, and so on, we get so lost in the doing that we forget about the connections with the people we are doing things for. One of the most important things in this world is relationships. How do we do our best to foster those relationships with those we love most?
We have a house full of chaos.
I say that in the most loving way possible. There is always someone who needs something. If I sit down with one of my kids, one of the others needs something or is asking for something. That is why the date idea came to my mind. When we actually did it, it was an amazing experience for myself and my son. What I am learning is that it does not actually matter what the date is. Kids like getting that one-on-one time with one or both of their parents. It can be as simple as going to get ice cream after dinner or just eating a meal or snack out. The date we had was simple but meaningful. It allowed my son to tell me all of the things that he wanted to without fear of being interrupted by his sisters or other distractions around our house. This date challenged me to listen more and to be in touch with my kids on a more personal level. The date helped my son to feel heard and valued.
After this last minute, thrown together date night, I definitely want to make this a recurring event in our house. I want each of my kids to be able to experience these date nights with one of us. As I think about my kids and my hopes for them and for our family, I always want them to feel they can come to us and talk about whatever is on their hearts and minds. I feel one way to foster that kind of relationship as they get older is by doing these simple date nights when they are young. It shows them that we do care and want to know what is on their mind. By doing these date nights, it makes our kids feel important and special.
I encourage you to give this a try. It does not have to be anything elaborate–the point is making a connection. It is my hope that if we can foster these relationships now, it will pay off as our kids grow up.
Our kids will not remember how many times we lost our cool with them. They will not remember most of the mistakes we make.
What they will remember is the love we have for them and the special moments we shared together.