It’s not looking to be the quietest summer on record around these parts. Moving to a new house (that still remains to be discovered by us!) along with new schooling and a career change for the husband…….on the calendar, all within a few weeks of each other has us already singing “Crazy Train”. Due to all these events, and apparent evidence that we could be hoarders, it’s pretty unlikely that we will be able to take some organized vacation this summer. I think we will do well to maybe get a weekend away or two before back to school is upon us again. Last week when we signed the offer on our house it hit me….no big vacation this year……followed by a huge wave of mom guilt. What will she tell her friends? The child will be so bored without a vacation! The summer will get by without any “special” event….and so on. I felt so bad that we were probably going to be unable to provide that for her.
Later on that evening I was talking things over with my 9 year old. I was explaining to her that we might not be able to do anything “officially” vacation-wise, but that we would try to do some small fun things in between moving and her stepdad being away for school. Her response had such an impact on me and snapped everything right into perspective. She kinda shrugged her shoulders, looked at me and said, “Don’t worry mom, as long as we spend time together, it won’t matter!”
And then it hit me.
What’s the greatest gift we can give our kids? TIME.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against taking beach vacations, going on cruises, or visiting places that require passports. I believe those are awesome, memory making opportunities, and if you can, you should take them. BUT I also think it’s important to remember, it’s the time with you during all their stages of life that can’t be replaced or enhanced by a destination. The experience of bonding, talking, really knowing your kids is what they’ll remember. Most of my fondest memories from my childhood are about things my mom and I did together, the details of where we went or what exactly we did might be faint in my memory, but what I fully and completely recall is how fun our time was together and how she was present in those moments of conversation.
What I want for my daughter to remember the most is the same as what I remember about doing things with my mom. That when she tells me stories, plays games with me, or when we are singing loudly in the car, that I am present in that moment. That I keep perspective on what matters most. That I speak her love language of my time given to her without distraction. Is this always easy? I know it isn’t. Sometimes it takes planning and shutting off the world around us, but it’s totally worth it. The time we give is so important. Don’t let the world, the mom guilt, tell you it has to be a Disney experience. As we go about our summers, planning trips, booking camps, making schedules, let us be intentional on the gift we can give our kids that doesn’t require a penny, reservation, or packing a bag……the gift of time.
In what ways are you intentional about giving the gift of time to your kids? Let us know by commenting below!