Several years ago my daughters presented me with a very special gift for my birthday. It was a scrapbook of letters they had written to me, along with letters from relatives and friends, from whom they had solicited, and compiled into a decorated keepsake. It is a beautiful book!
One common thread that I discovered in the letters written by my older children was that they each recalled a vivid memory of a specific occasion when we had spent precious time together– alone.
Three of our ten children are grown already, and I realize my time is limited as each child continues to race toward adulthood at an alarming rate.
In an attempt to capture priceless quality moments, this year I’ve begun a brand new tradition in our home. On each of my children’s birthdays (or on a day close to it), I am spending the appointed day focused on them.
So far this year I’ve taken several of the girls “fun shopping” and a couple of them out for tea at a local antique store with a tea room. I’ve visited an Army Base with one son and had a private tea party with another. Along the way there have been stops at the library, consignment store, ice cream parlor and toy shop. I take into account each child’s interests and try to plan ahead for our conversations. We end the evening with a special dinner out with daddy, just the three of us.
Life can get hectic, especially as we are busy raising children. It takes effort and sacrifice to spend planned quality time alone with each child. But the memories that are etched into the minds and hearts of our precious children make it all worth the effort.
Do you “date” your children? How do you spend that special time?