Thursday, July 26, 2012

How Do Kids Spell Love?

Kids spell love T-I-M-E. ~ John Crudele

I know this in my heart. I know this in my head. But I still have to constantly take myself in hand and be sure I am spending the time, the real, in the moment, often spur of the moment, time with my kids. 

One of the biggest ways the kids (especially the three oldest) seem to need me to spend time with them is simply listening. And with my ADHD like brain, sometimes simply listening to a very long, very detailed description of last Little House on the Prairie or Heartland episode watched, or being told the value of a myriad of different rare coins, or being given the exact measurements of every part of the table a child is building gives my attention muscles a serious workout. I find myself tuning out, or changing the subject, or going back to what I was doing without really paying attention. But I've been working hard to really truly pay attention, to respond, to ask questions or make comments about what they've told me. Because I really do want to know what's going on in their lives, and I really do want them to know that I love them, and this is what they need from me right now. 

What my youngest seems to need the most at the moment is physical closeness or contact. Sometimes I feel like I've grown an extra appendage. And it's not a small one either - he's five years old and tall for his age. But, for whatever reason, it seems to be what he needs right now. So I work with him under my feet, hanging off my arm, or leaning over my shoulder. Some nights I sleep with him snuggled up against me - or kicking me in the back. Of course, there are times when it simply doesn't work for him to be right there in the middle of what I'm doing. And sometimes I just get impatient and try to get him to find something to do somewhere else. And then I remember that the time will come soon enough when he's grown and gone and I'll miss these times. And I snuggle him up and give him a good tickle or we rock and sing his favorite song. 

Because really, this moment is all I have. And if I want my kids to know I really love them, I will try to give them the time they need.

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  1. I could have wrote this, too. Thanks for your words. It is comforting to know there are others who have the same issues.

  2. So true. I can totally identify with what you related. I've just got the one child but I still find it challenging sometimes to give her my full attention when she deserves it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for this great reminder. I could so relate to listening to the relating of the television show!!! I need to listen to that too! (Even though it secretly drives me crazy!)

  4. This is such truth and so hard to live out! Remembering that this stage is fleeing helps me to soak it in!