Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes
A few months ago my family took a trip to Wisconsin Dells
We loaded up our car, picked up my husbands younger brother whom my son adores and headed out on the four hour drive. It was a great experience. We played mini-golf, visited attractions, and ate some great food. We all bonded together and my son did not want to leave.
Before we left , I bought a cheap $5 memory book to add pictures as well as mementos such as Izaak’s wristband from the waterpark and out mini golf scoring sheets. (Izaak got a hole in one on hole 13 and we made sure to get a picture of it, he’s really gets into it and is pretty good.) When I presented Izaak with this book, he LOVED IT. He even carried it around for a few days after I gave it to him and he still likes to look at occasionally.
Izaak’s response to receving his memory book made me realize that more than anything he likes making memories with the ones he loves. He’s excited this week for his friends birthday party and I think overall that he really just enjoys the company of other people and the emotion of love. He cherishes that memory book because he loved making those memories. To him, that memory book is a reminder of cherished time spent together with family.
“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.” Abigail Van Buren
This is not to say that Izaak doesn’t like his toys and his television shows. Izaak enjoys watching Blaze and the Monster Machines. He has fun playing with his Hot Wheels. But he doesn’t LOVE his possessions. The T.V. doesn’t make him feel loved. And he doesn’t feel loved by his toys, but he does feel loved when he has someone to play his favorite toys with.
Izaak values human interaction more than anything in the world and finds immense joy in the simple pleasures of life. Throwing a ball together, playing a matching game, building a snowman, there are so many simple activities that create moments that last forever. I think back to my childhood and what I remember. I remember my parents taking us on vacations and how we spent time exploring new places as a family. I don’t remember it being important that my family couldn’t afford luxurious hotels or souvenirs.
I remember going with my mom to the grocery store and helping her in the garden. I reminisce on the dance contests that my dad hosted and our pizza nights on the weekends that my mom worked. I also remember my sisters playing school with me and my brother helping me build my doll house. I will never forget simple moments like those.
How do you make a child feel important? Spend time with them. Make each child a priority. I know life is busy. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the energy and time. But even taking ten minutes out of your night for each child to talk about each other’s day, look through photo albums or play a few rounds of of tic-tac-toe makes all of the difference their world.
Children are easier to impress than most people realize. It’s a big relief to me that for Izaak I don’t need to go above and beyond to make him feel special. All I have to do is be a present mom in his life and he will think the world of me.
There are many things that full blown adults can learn from children. To love someone based on how they treat you instead of what material goods they can provide for you. To not hold a grudge when someone makes mistakes. To be trusting in nature. Most importantly, to value human life more than anything that this world has to offer. Izaak teaches me more than I teach him.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3
What is your favorite way to spend quality time with family? Please feel free to share below.
-Holly the imperfect momma.