Lately I've been feeling like I haven't been spending enough true quality time with my kids. Sure I feed them, bathe them, dress them, snuggle them, tuck them in at night. I homeschool Sitora and take her to ballet and Awana. We pray together, read the bible, and listen to Anne of Green Gables on audio CD together. But lately my mind has been wandering off while I'm with them and I don't like that. Being there and yet not really "being there". Do you know that feeling?
I decided that I wanted to give them a full day of undivided attention. We didn't get our usual family day this week and I could tell they really needed it. A day of just pure fun and adventure. Whatever came to mind. I put my schedule aside and took off my task-oriented mother hat and chose to just play.
After some homeschool (the fun parts) I sat in the toyroom with Peter and Sitora with my coffee and just watched them play. I left my phone and purposefully never checked it the whole day (sorry if anyone texted/called). I giggled as they put dress up clothes on and chased each other around the room. We squealed as Peter threw live bugs at us that he likes to catch on the floor. We snuggled and wrestled. I gave the kids a bath and let them play and splash around without me hurrying them to finish up. (Our bathtub is glorious. In all my years I never imagined I'd have my dream jacuzzi! Let's just say that Sitora regularly wears her swimming ring floaty in there and also practices floating. It's basically a bit of heaven for us.)
Then Sitora asked if we could go outside and play in the newly fallen snow from the previous night. Granted, there wasn't much. But it was enough :) We bundled up and jumped into the sloshy snow that was perfect for packing and making a snowman. We all laid down (yes, even Peter!) and made snow angels, laughing all the while. We threw snowballs at each other and Peter got his first taste of snow, which he thoroughly enjoyed. His wide eyed merriment gave me a glimpse of reminder what a winder wonderland truly can be if we open up our hearts to see it.
We came inside and drank hot chocolate while our frozen toes and fingers thawed out. Then we jumped on the couch to finish watching Anne of Green Gables since we've been listening to it on audio CD for the past few months. Sitora's eyes sparkled as scenes came across the screen that she recalled from the book. "Oh I remember this!" she squealed over and over.
I kept catching myself thinking, "Oh man, I have so much to do...." But then I immediately discarded the thought and reminded myself of the purpose of this day. Of course most all days I have jobs to get done and I can't play all day with the kids. But I wanted this day to be special. A day where I really did just play.
I can't express in words how important this day was for me and I hope for my kids. The laundry will eventually get done. The kitchen finally sparkled after bedtime. But my kids hearts aren't something that can wait.