Last night I had a chance to do one of my favorite things. I hung out with the “Sister Club” (my youngest 3 girls) on the back porch swing, in front of the fire pit, with homemade hot chocolate. They always get chatty in those times and they talk about everything when given the safety and time to do so. School, what makes them sad, what they want to be when they grow up, friends.
So one of the sisters started talking about the kind of house she wanted to live in when she got married and had kids. I asked what kind of fellow she wanted to marry and immediately 2 of the girls said, “A guy like Dad”. So it begged the question, “what is great about Dad?”
There answers were things like:
- He plays with us
- He spends time with us
- He reads us stories
- He loves us
- He’s kind
- He takes us places
So then I asked the girls if they planned to be Mommy’s then what made a good mommy. No surprise here, but the list was exactly the same as the Daddy list.
I was struck by their comments. As parents we talk about how important our family is and how are children are our legacy, but we spend so much time on the other things that mean little to the heart of our kids. For example, my kids didn’t say that what made a good mom was a trendy hair cut, designer jeans, gourmet meals or a clean house. They didn’t say anything about my husband’s ability to preach, run a church, counsel or plan an event. They just talked about time spent. Time spent. Time spent. So why do we spend so much time on the other and so little time with them.
There’s no substitute for time spent with the littles. The whole quality vs quantity thing is a lie. With money, a dollar is a dollar and with time a minute is a minute. They all spend the same. Period. But we spend so much of our time in our “big worlds” that we forget the value of time in their “little worlds.”
If you want an honest look at your parenting, ask your kids. They have a way of cutting to the heart of the matter. Joyce Meyer once said, “God designed us to be fruitful. Not busy”. Is there any sweeter fruit than the legacy of a life spent with the people we love most? Of a generation growing up to be fruitful moms and dads because that’s what was modeled for them.
Being in the house or the car with the kids doesn’t mean you are BEING with your kids. Let’s focus on the important things today. A swing. A cup of cocoa. The heart of a child.