I’ve been spending the last few weeks looking at our family to see what needs…tweaking. We have gotten sick three times since Easter (seriously, the germs need to leave). I’ve yet to accept this happens when you have a house full of little children (anyone else in denial?). Instead, my controlling, perfectionist nature takes over and I try to fix it. But, it hit me over the last few weeks that perhaps there does indeed need to be fixing done. Just not in the diet or supplement aspects of our family life.
We have been out of town and traveling a ridiculous amount. I had no idea how over the top it was until a very dear friend of mine endearingly asked if she could be frank with me. She proceeded to be very frank with me. She pointed out how much we “go.” It’s true. Some of it (hello, hospital admission or First Holy Communion trip to Houston) couldn’t be helped. But, it did make me realize that, as a whole, my husband and I need to realign our priorities. And so, being the list maker that I am, I numbered the amount of trips we’ve taken/overnight visitors we’ve had since the last week of July of 2017. It was an embarrassingly high number (I’m not saying here I regret having the visitors). While I love having people in my home and I love a good road trip, moderation is so important!
My husband and I have decided to make a family mission statement. For us, this means identifying where we want to see our family in several aspects and how we can keep improving. For me, that meant sitting down and making a list of what we need to do more of and less of. As I was setting dinner on the table, I had an idea. I went and grabbed paper and pencils and handed them to my two girls who can write, and asked them to make lists too. And what they came up with made my heart explode.
Both made a simple request: Less trips.
My six year old said, “Mommy, I want less trips so I can make more friends. We are gone so much, we don’t have time to make friends. And I want to have more time with you and Daddy. I want to stay home more.”
On the more list:
Go to the pool.
Go outside [as a family].
Go to the Silos.
Go to the sea.
Have a fire and roast marshmallows.
Go pick flowers.
Go pick flowers. How sweet. How innocent. I prepared myself for more “less” stuff. But, they both only requested more sweet, innocent time at home. They asked for day trips nearby. They asked for simple evenings and days spent together at home. How much I can and should take from my sweet children. We do need to slow down. We need to focus on the joy here in the present, instead of chasing it down the highway all the time. They are growing up before my eyes. And this season of littles in the house will give way to bigger children. I need to give them what they need–what we all need. Restful, loving time spent together.
May I never take their tender hearts for granted.