Thursday, October 6, 2011

BETTER Than Disneyland!!

Last week, during one of those long and rainy days, me and the kids had an absolutely boring day.  Here’s what we did (or maybe I should say, didn’t do!); we stayed inside and I caught up on laundry while the boys played superheroes, I hauled some old boxes up from the basement and the kids made them into forts and ocean-liners (I think someone even lost a leg in a shark attack), we read the same ol’ books (hit a record of the day with “Go, Dog, Go”!  I lost count after twenty-something...), ate some soup from a can (though who can beat Campbell's Chicken Noodle?!), and finally, wrestled with Daddy when he came home from work.  That was all we did.  Thrilling, right?  Hardly!

Here’s what we DIDN’T do; we didn’t do a thing that cost money (okay, the soup was a buck or so), we didn’t make any cool art projects or play any exciting games, we didn’t go on any special trips to swimming pools, hotels, or Disneyland--heck, we never even left the house!  That is why I did a double-take that night as I was tucking in my oldest, Gideon.  He sighed in contentment as he nuzzled under the covers and whispered, “Thanks for today, Mommy.  That was the funnest day ever!”  I felt faint with shock, did I just hear my son correctly: TODAY, one of the most “boring days” we’d had in a long time was ranking at Numero Uno Status in his mind as “The Funnest Day Ever”!?!

I staggered out of his bedroom that night, my head reeling.  The old adage of “quality time makes up for quantity time” was just blown out of the water, at least in the highly expert opinion of a fun-loving-five-year-old!  

In our busy and work-oriented society, so often kids are interacting less and less with their parents.  The day-care worker, teacher, nanny or babysitter spends large quantities of time with the child but the parent shouldn’t be concerned so long as they make up for the deficit with some spectacular, memory-making QUALITY time.  A big show at the mall, a weekend away to a water-park, or even a trip to Disneyland, these should make up for the hour or so a day they actually interact with their son or daughter during the hectic week.  Or does it...?

Could it be that true QUALITY moments happen when we spend QUANTITY time with our children?  Perhaps it’s not WHAT we do (and not how much MONEY we spend in those moments) but that we spend AS MUCH of the most precious gift God has given each one of us with our children: the gift of time.

I’m NOT saying a trip to Disneyland isn’t an awesome gift to give our children once-in-a-while.  Heck, what kid wouldn’t want to dance with Cinderella or go on a exciting ride that gives me chills just thinking of it!  What I am proposing is if those times are an attempt to make up for the lack of quantity time we spend with kids...we may be missing what matters MOST.

There are definitely situations where one or both parents may not be able to spend the amount of time they desire to invest in their children, but TRUE cases of these situations are usually the exception.  Many times, a choice we could make as parents to live more simply (i.e., drive a used vehicle or live in a smaller home) could free us up from the burden of work and debt to be with those little people that are only in our care for a short season of time.

If you think I’m off my rocker, ask your kid tonight what some of their favorite memories are.  If they are old enough to tell you, I’m guessing it may include LESS of the “special trips” and more of the “day-to-day” happenings then you might have guessed!  

Quality moments happen in quantity times; during long, rainy day spent inside building rocket-ships to the moon out of cardboard boxes and reading books that are dog-eared with affectionate use.

These simple moments spent together have the potential to become the “Funnest Day Ever” in the eyes of a child!

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