So last night I decided to do just that. After being away on a work trip for 2 nights I gave up concert tickets in order to stay home for some quality time with my girls. And boy was it worth it.
We talked and laughed and argued (because power struggles with a 3-year-old don't know the rules about quality time). We ate cereal for dinner and debated over what to have for dessert. Ice cream won...with cookies a close second.
Then it was outside into the sunny (but cool) evening. They rode bikes. We drew chalk pictures. And then is was over to the park. Usually on a sunny evening our playground is full of kids but on this night it was as if the universe knew we needed our alone time. We found it blessedly empty.
My girls proudly demonstrated their "roller coater" way of coming down the slide...it's pretty much how you imagine it...youngest in front squealing all the way down with big sister holding her protectively. Then my oldest showed me that she could now make it all the way across the monkey bars with NO help. Ah the look of pride on her face.
|god i love these little faces.|
We gathered rocks...we looked for long sticks...and found a few interesting bugs that we gave interesting names (like Glenda...where did that come from?). As the light faded and the wind picked up it was time to head back home to get into pajamas.
Our nights are usually so rushed that bedtime always sneaks up on us and there are inevitably tears. But not on this night...we picked cozy PJ's...brushed teeth and hair...and then I told the girls we could each pick 2 books to read tonight.
Oldest said incredulously: "But Mummy...that's [doing the math in her head] 6 books!"
Child genius I tell you. And so we ended the night with 6 books of varying shapes, sizes, lengths and themes. All of them read with my 2 girls snuggled onto my lap and me stopping occasionally to smell their hair (what is it about kids hair?). I tucked them in...made sure they had their blankies and favourite stuffies...and kissed them goodnight. As I closed the door to their room I sighed. I was content
I still had dishes to do, lunches to make, laundry to fold and toys to put away but that was okay. Because as parents we know that all of that is part of the job. We don't like it but we know we have to do it. That's why quality time is so important.
By making those precious hours really count...by giving our kids our undivided attention while they talk about their day...by putting away our phones and tablets and turning off the TV...we give ourselves a chance to feel grateful for what we have.
and really...what more can you ask for?