I hate that it takes a stay in the hospital for me to realize, yet again, that life has become too busy and my children are missing out … on me.
A mother oftentimes underestimates the importance of her simple presence. A father does as well.
Our children are born into our arms so fresh and new. All they care about is that we are there.
In a world filled with new sights and sounds, we offer them something familiar… our scent, our voice, our protection.
And we continue to offer those things as our children grow from infants to toddlers to little kids and then big kids. And all along the way, our kiddos do not care about whether we are “known” at work or have big numbers on our paychecks.
Aside from getting the basics of food, clothing and shelter… what our kids crave is so simple.
Us. And the security our relationship offers to them.
I truly believe God has equipped us to be just the perfect parents for our sweet children and the life they have been designed to lead.
But it is so easy to get caught up in striving towards significance, obtaining bigger and better properties and possessions, “being” something important and earning a bigger paycheck.
And I am not saying it is a bad thing to strive for excellence – to become the fullness of who God created us to be.
But to do those things without considering the “us” we are taking away from our kids in the process is to ignore the reality that WE are the single most important influence on the lives of our kids.
They look to us to know what is right and wrong. Whether it is okay to make mistakes. How to recover when they fail. How to believe that they can do hard things. And WHO to believe is there for them when no one else shows up.
Our children need us to know them and love them anyway. How can we know them when we spend so much time caught up in our screens? Our shows? Our likes and comments?
I am guilty as charged, my friends.
Can we work together to simplify our lives? To put our phones down during those precious moments we have with our kids? To intentionally teach them about life and love and faith and dreams and the hard work it takes to get there?
Take a moment tonight and just BE PRESENT with your kids. Notice their sweet (and quite possibly dirty) smell again, the way their fingernails are inevitably filled with dirt after a day filled with outside adventures, the way they look at and reach for you at bedtime.
And notice the tiny ways that they still need you, no matter their age or stage of life.
And just be there. Present. Aware. Completely immersed in their world.