This is a truly strange time for the entire world! I keep thinking about the days we will tell our grand- children about the time we all got shut in our houses and ran out of toilet paper. What will we be able to tell our grand children that we did with this time? This makes me really look at who is right in front of me, right NOW. It's almost as if we have been given a DO-OVER, or a REPEAT, depending on our circumstances.
I am a workaholic. If you were to ask my grown kids about the time I spent with them, they would probably not remember much that was really fun. Even though I home schooled! They would say I was too busy. In my mind I was teaching them a good work ethic. In my heart I was covering fear and pain trying to prove to myself that I was the opposite of what my father told me - that I was stupid and incapable. I had internalized his words and believed them to be true. I had created such high expectations for myself that I would never be able to reach them. My children suffered because they lost time with ME, as their mother. I had no idea that I didn't have to be perfect to just BE their mom. All they wanted was my FACE time. My SMILING, LAUGHING, HAPPY Face TIME. Oh, how fast that time disappeared, and I can't get it back.
The one thing I did right, along with my husband, was dates one-on-one with each of our kids. We took turns -one month was his turn, the next was mine. Each week one of the kids would get to go on a date, and the last week was our turn. On my date nights I would take our child to Dairy Queen. We would get our ice cream and sit in the car to eat it so we could just talk for up to 2 hours. As our boys grew older I was able to share my heart with them, and hear their hearts as well. I apologized to them for my behavior during times I had lost my temper or did stupid things , received their forgiveness, cried, and prayed with them. Our first born told me one day, not long before he left for the Air Force, "Mom, I am so glad we had our one-on-one times. I don't know where I would be without them." I wish I had given him close-up, meaningful, memorable FACE-time (aside from instructions, scoldings, and schooling) more than once every two months. I wish I had PLAYED more with him, and all of our kids!
Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. Lyndon B. Johnson, American President
TODAY I have been given a 2nd chance. All of us who are hunkering down in our homes with kids, who are normally at school, to avoid spreading the Corona virus have a HUGE opportunity right at home! This is a time to create happy memories with our families. Time to Prepare, Empower, Armor, Restore, Love, and Secure our children! Time to listen to their hearts and let them into ours. Time to play! Make the decision often during this time to turn off social media, turn off the news, turn off the video games and do things that require FACE time. Things that require communication with each other. Things that are hard, like sharing hurts. Holding hurts inside only fester and cause explosions or divisions later on... Do things that are healing to yourself and your family. Here are some helpful healing books. When you must teach, teach in a way that is positive and fun! You can even use paper dolls to role-play what to do in a scary situation.
Play games, or make up games for as many activities as you can. Race little children to pick up toys off the floor, reward them with stickers or a treat. Play hide and seek, build a fort with chairs and blankets, make play dough, cookies, or dinner together. Let them help choose and prepare meals. Go outside and gather HOPE : look at the buds coming out on the trees and bushes, and the green plants poking up from the ground. Listen to the music of different birds who have returned with Spring. Soak in blue sky and sunshine together. Read books, books, and more books. March is reading month, after all! This one, called Raising PEARLS, is an activity book that helps caregivers to empower their kids while playing. Read Bible stories or start a devotional book. Sing while you clean, do laundry and brush your kids' hair & teeth! Sing or play something like this song by Rachel Coleman on your phone when you settle your kids for sleep. Make this as positive an experience for you and your family as you can. When this pandemic is over you, and they, will be able to look back and smile knowing you did what you could within your own home. And hopefully, you will have started a new thing that they love and want to continue through the rest of their growing up years!