The other night we were hanging out at the inline hockey rinks. Zachary had requested his birthday party simply be hanging out with his hockey buddies and playing hockey. After a weekend of…playing hockey. The kids loved it, though, and we played until it got dark. Then we pulled out glow sticks and attached them to the kids helmets and sticks, and we used glow-in-the-dark balls instead of pucks. I parked the truck next to the rink and would “charge” one of the balls with the headlights while the kids used the other one.
One of the parents standing with us mentioned that this would be one of the memories of the kids of their summer. Mom standing there charging up glow-in-the-dark balls while the kids played as long as possible. They didn’t even want the chocolate cake…they just wanted to play.
The parent’s comment caught me, though. I’ve been thinking ever since:
“What will the kids remember?”
Will it stand out in their minds that when they came downstairs I was distracted and on the computer; focused on the lives of others while they waited for my attention? I hope not. I’ve been more present to them and more intentional this summer about doing things. Enjoying them and enjoying the wonder that is summer as a kid.
Catching Lightning Bugs (love living in the south)
Playing with Baking Soda, Vinegar and Food Coloring
Water Balloon fights
Dinners with an abundance of color and flavor
What will they remember?
Staying up late, sleeping in, laughing and giggling.
Road trips to New Mexico.
Running outside and the feel of grass on bare feet.
Snow cones and swimming pools.
They will remember I was there and Steve was there.
They will not remember how clean the house was or if the laundry was done on time. They will not remember if the bed was made.
Lord, help me remember that those things need to be done without taking over. Help me remember to just enjoy these days.
Help me remember that these little souls are eager for affection and attention. Help me to remember that their wonder only takes a little encouragement to blossom.
Simple things. Attention. Intention. Just being present.
They laugh at me that I take pictures of our food and of them eating snow cones…but I know these days will be gone before I am ready. Taking pictures is part of my way of holding on to the moment.
I want them to know how to play and use their imaginations, but I think more than that, I just want to enjoy them. In my enjoyment I think they find a security and a confidence to just be themselves…and know that is enough.
So, this summer is all about memories of lazy things and “unimportant” things.
I have no plans to achieve great things this summer…I have plans to wear pajamas until noon and have tickle fights.
I have plans to whisper in their ears throughout the day that they are loved.
I have plans to lay in bed with them and read books.
I have plans to listen to them.
I have plans to look at the stars and tell them of a God who is filled with creativity and imagination…and that they are made in His image. To remind them that they are loved by this God…that He delights in them and their laughter and their wonder. To point around them so that they can learn to look with wonder and hope and awareness.
Maybe I do have big plans after all.