My Mom wasn't very playful.
Like, as far as I remember, she wasn't one for running in the leaves, letting us play in the rain, or being spontaneous and fun.
She was a great Mom, don't get me wrong...it was just a different time. And she was a different Mom. She was raised with nothing much, and she wanted more for us...so there was a lot of intensity and stress in those early years. And my Dad, he was from a children should be seen and not heard life. It was just how he was raised, and all he knew.
Now, tho, he loves talking with the kids, watching them in all of their activities, and encouraging them in their spiritual walks. His parents probably wouldn't believe how he turned out.
I remember my Mom taking us to concerts and plays when we were young. I think she was trying to broaden our horizons and open our eyes to new opportunities. Because my Dad was in the military, we traveled a lot. My parents, especially my Mom, tried to make sure we saw the sights and learned about the history of the places we were visiting. I appreciate that so much.
Well, I appreciate it NOW. My Dad loves to remind me of the time they told me to PUT THE BOOK DOWN because we were going over the Golden Gate Bridge. When they asked me about it later, they told me I said, "it was nice."
I just don't have any memories of my Mom doing the fun, every day stuff with us. She was probably just overwhelmed. Or maybe she did all the fun stuff, and I just don't remember. That is totally plausible with the state of my mind these days.
I have a memory of my Mom standing at the ironing board. She had set it up in the living room of the house we lived in in South Carolina. My parents had 3 young children at the time...one was a newborn. This particular image of her...I don't know if it's a memory, or if it's from a picture, because my Mom was not really a fan of the housework. She was, on the other hand, a BIG fan of the HOUSEKEEPER.
As much as I love all things HOME...she loved all things GO. She needed to get out...she needed to be big and loud and in charge. She needed to fly.
Of course, even tho I tried to be the Mom who ran in the leaves and played in the rain and let my kids bring home cats and dogs and guinea pigs, and even kept a snake in an aquarium IN THE KITCHEN...and tried to be spontaneous and fun...they may only remember all the stuff I didn't let them do, the tv shows and movies they weren't allowed to watch...the places I didn't let them go...and all the times I fussed at them for doing the wrong thing.
SIGH...the life of a parent.
I'm at my sink...a LOT. So much, in fact, that I cannot even grow my fingernails to a decent length. I know, I know...wear gloves. I don't.
But I have a bottle of dish-washing liquid beside the sink. I have some in a decorative bottle, but I also have some in the actual plastic bottle that it came in. If you turn it over to pour some in the sink and then turn it up quickly and squeeze, most of the time a few bubbles will come out the top. I love that. I remember my Mom doing that one time on accident, and the bubbles floated through the air. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I tried to pop the bubbles before they landed. I would blow them up high and try to blow them around the room. It was fun until they popped.
I used to try and get my Mom to "make bubbles" more often when she was doing dishes at the sink. She didn't have time...didn't see the need...didn't see the fun in it.
And it was such a simple thing.
We are all so busy. There are so many opportunities for distractions. I see Moms on their phones after they've just picked up their little ones from school. I know there are times when we all just have to be on the phone...I'm not judging. I've done it, too. I'm just saying, as an older mom looking back...they are only little once. You can't get this time back. My kids, especially my non-talkative boys...they were full of stories at the end of the day. If I was distracted, or if Jim or a friend picked them up from school...I missed all the good stuff. My boys WOULD NOT REPEAT A STORY.
DON'T MISS IT...if possible and as much as it depends on you...take the time to BE THERE in the moment with your kids.
And make time for the little things.
"He renews my strength..." Psalm 23:3