Where we are now is not where we will always be. I think in parenting this is a really difficult concept to grasp. When we have infants, we are so immersed that it is hard to think our wee ones will one day be walking, talking, joke sharing toddlers. With toddlers, its hard to imagine that we’ll one day (soon even) have big kids that can clear the table on their own and play cards with us. And eventually, all these little people with whom we share our lives and our homes, will one day be adults with whom we will share thoughts, ideas and maybe even go to for advice.
If you want to grasp this concept more fully, that childhood is fleeting and the people we raise will be adults for a whole lot longer than they are children, here’s a fun and simple exercise…
Write down the names and ages of all the people in your immediate family – the parents and the kids. Now add 20 years. That’s it. That’s the whole exercise. The point being that it really does go fast. And the connection we seek then can be put into place now in little and mindful chunks.
Take a day off. Play in the yard. Skip the chores one afternoon and lay around and read together. Greet each other in the morning as if you haven’t seen each other in months. Take ten minutes to listen to a kids’ story about the kid at school. Turn off your phone on occasion. Turn off the screens. Look at each other. Listen. Enjoy each other’s company.
What you put in now will come back to you later a thousand fold.