We have 5 kids in the house most days and that certainly makes for some interesting times at home. We don’t see them all the time anymore…they’re involved in lots of things. And we don’t get as much time as we used to get with each one individually. If the last couple days is any indication, though, we’ve learned to make the most of the time we do get. We’ve learned to make any moment a precious moment.
We’ve learned to make any moment an invested moment. It hasn’t been a conscious effort so much as learning to take advantage of whatever moments we have with our kids and stepkids to demonstrate how much we love them and to invest ourselves into them. For example:
My wife handmade my daughter’s dress for the homecoming dance and then did her hair and makeup and took her there so they could talk about “girl stuff” on the way. All I was able to do was tell her “holy moly, you look absolutely gorgeous”. After the dance, she came back all smiles and on cloud nine, explaining that she had dozens and dozens of compliments on her dress, hair and makeup. She thanked us both for a very special night.
I made a chance to talk to my oldest stepson about his new habit of interrupting everyone and being a “know it all” who argues (loudly and angrily). Over a few minutes, we talked it out and he was very receptive to my talking with him and opening his eyes. I gave him some “tools” he could use and he put them into action right away, the very next time he wanted to argue with someone. And the result was MUCH better for everyone concerned.
My other stepson had a chance to go to his friend’s house for a special get-together, IF I could take him. Normally when he sees me working on the laptop he assumes I’m busy and won’t interrupt me. So when he interrupted me this time, asking about getting a ride and going to his friend’s house…I realized it was pretty important to him. We got right up and went over, talking on the way about nothing special – just talking – and I made sure he knows he is always more important than the laptop. And later in the evening when he came back home, could said he couldn’t thank me enough for taking him.
My younger daughter has been reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and we’ve taken MANY moments to discuss that one and laugh together about the various scenes in the book. Her reading that one has been a HUGE bonding experience for us. And each of those moments is well-invested in SO many ways. In fact, just this morning as I was putting this post together, we shared another laugh at one of the absurd scenes in the book.
Lastly, my youngest stepdaughter plays soccer and has been working on her skills so much over the past few months. She seemed surprised when I told her yesterday I wanted to go to her game and then even more surprised as I recounted one cool thing after another with her that she had done during the game. Later she told me it meant a lot to her for me to go to the game and pay attention. And then she hugged me.
So, those are just some examples of how I’m becoming a tiny bit invested. The tiny bits sure do add up.
How do you invest in your loved ones? I’d love to learn from you.