Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Redeeming The Time: ROCK MONSTERS

Have you ever looked lovingly at your little monsters long after they've gone to bed and think, Gosh, I could've done more with them today. . . Now do not get me wrong; there are other nights you gaze at their sleeping little bodies and revel in the silence and thank the Lord that you did not kill them that day. I have had many of those days too. Believe me. But more and more lately, I have realized how fleeting this time is with my littles. That I am only granted 18 years of Saturday mornings and 18 years of quality bedtimes. We have such a small window of time to speak into their lives, to call out their potential, and to dream with them creative dreams for their future. We take so many moments for granted as parents.

In our family, I will go a step further and say that we throw many precious moments out the window over inconvenience and use of technology. We are THAT family who loves our devices and games and facebook friends and family and ample screen time with Phineas and Ferb and all things Marvel. These things are all well and good in moderation, but our family relies on them a bit too much most recently, and it's something that we are willing to rectify at all costs. If time is precious and fleeting, we need to redeem it as often as we can with making memories together and learning life lessons as a family.

Thus, Redeeming the Time has officially commenced in our household. We are taking back moments stolen by less important activities and replacing them with quality time activities. We will spend less time starting at the television (even together!) and more time staring into each others eyes. We will do this by crafts and activities and games and family time. Seizing the day, each day, even if it's only for 15 minutes of uninterrupted, facetime with each child. We will get our hands dirty and be creative and make messes together and build lego towers and run through the sprinkler together and have marathon reading sessions at bedtime. The goal is to redeem time that we've normally spent answering an email or scrolling through twitter while our child stands by and says, "Mommy, Daddy, Watch this!!" without much avail. We will start to unplug more and focus. I read an amazing blog about living "hands free" with your children and a profound statement floored me. "There are only 940 Saturdays between a child's birth and their leaving for college. How many have you already used up?" Wow. My first thought was that my oldest is 7 years old. I've already used up 364 Saturdays. I have 576 weeks left to seize this time with my little man and make them count.

The following weekly Wednesday series will spotlight activities and games and crafts that have helped me redeem this time with my little monsters. They aren't profound or new ideas, just things that we are doing together.  In these moments, they do not have to share me with the rest of the world. They will have my undivided attention and we will hopefully learn and grow and above all else, have fun together. When the 940 Saturdays expire, I want them to look back on the moments throughout life that we really pulled in together and cherish those times above all else. What about you? Do you need to practice Redeeming the Time with your children?

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This was an activity that we've done twice now, because A) we have a plethora of rocks at our house and B) what kid has too many rock monsters?? We first spent an afternoon on the beach in search of the perfect rocks. We collected 100 total and used this moment to work on our sorting and counting abilities too. Then we grabbed some paint and went after it. The photo here is not anywhere near what ours looked like, though it's what we based our craft on. Let's just say that you won't find a photo of our works of art next to this one with the caption, "Nailed it!" beside it. But we had a blast doing them. The boys talked about their favorite colors and the names of their rocks and where they were going to keep their "new pets". My seven-year-old superhero fanatic, of course, designed his rock monsters with superhero costumes of IronMan, Hulk, and Capt. America. It was a nice time sitting on our tile floor with a paint mess all around us, laughing and enjoying the conversation with each other. We could do this craft once a week and it wouldn't create rocks of art so much as it would create connection. So happy to have had these 30 minutes with them. 

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