Spring has sprung and we are seeing the nicest weather we will see here until about October or November. I remind myself of this everyday and make time to get the little ones outside to play. They are much happier playing outside and I am much happier when they are happy. The sandbox is one of their favorite places to play, often getting out their bowling pins to practice in the sand. The kids also enjoy a game of hopscotch, so from time to time we’ll get in a game or two.
About a week ago I turned over a little square of land where we worked together planting some seeds. It is a real fight to grow a nice garden here and I wouldn’t bother “wasting the time” but I am determined my kids are going to learn how to plant and know the joy of growing their own produce. I figure it can only get easier for them, if they grow up trying to grow vegetables from Florida sand. No matter where they move or finally decide to live it will likely be much easier to keep a garden there. Since we worked together on the planting, the garden is very random. I laughed when the seeds popped through the soil and you could see where seeds had been spilled and planted in the wrong places but I couldn’t care less. I called for Carlie and Donny to come see their garden was growing. The look of excitement on their faces was priceless. They danced around and pointed out all the different plants that had come up and we talked about how the different kinds each look a little different. Carlie said, “I show Daddy my garden when he comes home and he be so excited!”
One afternoon I let Carlie and Donny have lunch in the kitchen. I was so excited to watch them come up with a little table and chairs on their own. I intentionally try not to let them have too many toys to increase their imagination and creativity. Carlie has grown to love make-believe and will introduce me to her imaginary friends, call me to come see an imaginary Christmas tree she has, or bring me some imaginary thing she has made in her little pan and ask me to taste it.
John will sometimes call in the middle of the day to talk to the kids and ask them if they are being good, obeying, and being kind. It is always the highlight of the day. Carlie talks on and on to him telling him everything and Donny just feels so proud to hold the phone he doesn’t say anything at all.
I often hear the wisdom, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” I have been thinking about that and the hectic and sometimes monotonous routine of being at home with the kids everyday. Like every occupation there are good days and bad days. Days where you feel like you are really ahead of schedule and days that have no schedule. When it gets to be over whelming and demanding I have to stop and remember what I really want to have accomplished looking back twenty years from now. What will my kids remember? I want my kids to remember I’ll always stop to listen to them, I will always care about what they are doing and going through, I will always pray for them, I will always love them, and I won’t let demands frustrate me from those goals. I don’t think I can ignore the little chatter and concerns of my preschooler and then expect them to listen to me.
Right now, Carlie often asks to talk with John or I after we tuck her into bed. She will talk on and on about everything that she did and saw that day. We always enjoy taking the time to sit with her and listen to what she needs to say. John is such a perfect father, so patient and understanding. He takes so much time with them, teaching, talking, and reading. When Carlie tells him she’s scared he never tells her to just go back to sleep or not to worry about it. He takes the time to ask what she afraid of and why it scares her and then shows her why there is no need to be afraid. Never get so busy keeping house that you forget to keep your home.