As a new mommy of one, and a stay-at-home mommy at that, I used to take Kendall to museums, parks, zoos, play groups, playgrounds – a never ending list. For most of the activities, she was probably too young at the time, but we always had fun, made memories and took pictures.
When Collins was born, I continued to take them to various activities, Kendall finally old enough to do things on her own, Collins just happy to tag along. Then, my mom’s cancer progressed and complications arose, and of course, ultimately she passed. Most of our days were no longer consumed with playgrounds and art class. Instead, they were replaced with long days in nursing homes and hospitals. Don’t get me wrong, we still did fun things, just not nearly as often.
After my mom passed, I spent countless hours trying to preserve her legacy. I took on an overwhelming number of responsibilities so that neither my mom’s life work, nor her legacy, could ever be forgotten. Juggling that with finishing my Master’s, and completing my own responsibilities, left much less time for the fun stuff.
I didn’t notice. I didn’t notice how rarely we get out and do something “just because” until last week. I graduated, the girls were off from dance and school, I had no deadlines, nothing pressing, we just had each other. So we went to The Shack, drank Green Rivers and ate cheesy French fries. Afterwards, we went and saw the movie “Sing.” The girls were so excited about our plans, that they wore dresses and fancy shoes. I watched them through the movie as they danced, and sang and clapped. They had so much fun, WE had so much fun.
I woke up the next morning, in euphoria. We had so much fun together the night before, all I could think of was what we could do next! So after completing a few last minute things, we went to the Children’s Museum. We played and played and played. I realized then that Collins had never had the chance to do that before. She had never been old enough at our past visits to really explore and play. We had been to museums together in the past, but she is finally at the age where she can actually try everything.
Kendall is more of an extrovert and Collins tends to be more introverted. The third floor of the Children’s Museum caters more to artistic activities like music, painting, drawing and theater. Amazingly, as Kendall found a spot on the stage and established a performing role amongst other kiddos, Collins headed for the play box office and proceeded to “sell tickets”. I had never seen her warm up to other children so quickly.
I learned a lot last weekend about the importance of slowing down and taking time for US. We are together all day, every day, but that does not necessarily mean that we are taking the time for each other. Spending time together, and spending QUALITY time together are much different. Listening to them laugh always makes me happy, but really hearing those giggles warms my heart.
“The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.”
— Ray L. Wilbur, third president of Stanford University
© 2018 Lauren Johnson; http://livingthroughherlegacy.com