At what age do you suppose you have to hold yourself accountable to your children? When do you think they realize you've let them down? What is important to them?
And what to do with the overwhelming feeling you let them down daily?
I will admit, we'd been dragging our feet with extracurricular activities. Each of the kids have one thing they want to do... Soccer for the boy and gymnastics for the girl. The daddy and I know both activities require our time, which is in short supply these days. We'd agreed as a family that we need to do one activity at a time and they could both be in it or we'd take turns. As it happened, the boy got to go first. We fell nicely into youth soccer in the summer and it was amazing, our son was just good at it.
We also enjoyed, dare I say it? We enjoyed being soccer parents, to see our son really work through fears while having fun along the way. We're so proud of him.
The gymnastics thing I just can't be enthusiastic about. I am afraid for her and I worry about other things that come along with performance for girls in an activity like that. It's a total double standard, I know and I promise you, I am working on it.
Meanwhile a couple Saturday's ago, we had plans to head to the pumpkin patch after a group study I had. Our study ran long, while I was aware I needed to get home, I did not consider the worry that was going on within my daughter. She knew we had a short window of time to head out before daddy's shift at work started and as the minutes ticked past on the clock she new she might be headed for disappointment.
When I got home I heard just how bad it was as the hubbie debriefed on the state of the household since I had been away. Then the guilt comes and the questioning follows.
I wonder how many times have I let her down? How many times has she been disappointed because I wasn't watching the time, making sure I have enough hours in my day to play with them or just plain have my priorities in the wrong place?
It's those moments where I just want to pick them up and say mommy is so sorry. Mommy will do better... and I can try but really... when something else comes up, when I can't just break-away... I know that creates anxiety for our daughter.
I need to be aware. I need to see them together and individually. I need to live in the moments we are in and not live for the moments that are manufactured to be "family" moments.
So the changes I am making... while seeking my own quiet time with God to hear his voice. I share this time first with my daughter and then with my son. Each have their own books, each are craving my ear and at the same time, learning how have time with God - this mommy's heart is happy.
I've also made an appointment... for my daughter - to take gymnastics. She heard me on the phone... her excitement! I can hardly contain for myself.
It's hard learning these lessons. Harder still to make choices to cut out things I'd like to do in order to make time for them... hardest of all, I think, would be to look back and think, "I wish I had been in their lives more..."
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you Father, for seeing me. Being the ultimate parent that you are you and knowing exactly what I need, what we all need. Thank you for quietly giving me moments with my kids to actively see them and hear their hearts. Thank you for allowing me to see their excitement and to hear their thoughts. Thank you for blessing me beyond measure with these two beautiful children and this wonderful life. Lord, I thank you for all of these moments... all of these things. Please help me to continually seek you and your will, help me to keep listening to these babes you entrusted to me. I pray we honor you and each other with every breath. All of these things I ask in your holy name. Amen.