It isn’t what we give them … but the time we spend with them. that matters. It is what they want and need, even if they don’t know it. I really believe this and I want to encourage you today.
When I was younger, my parents had to work so hard, multiple jobs to help my brother and I. Do you know what I remember from that? I remember my Saturdays. They weren’t fancy. We didn’t go to nice restaurants or on weekend getaways. Nope. They were more special than that. They were the days that we spent with my dad. My brother and I had our dad home for the whole day. My mom worked on Saturdays and we had our “boy’s day.”
I remember those days more fondly than any of our “expensive” things, because it was the time that was put into it that really mattered. Do you know what I remember the most about our most-expensive trip to Disney? I remember when I locked the keys in the rental car (because my Dad had just said “Do NOT lock the keys in the car”, then he handed me the keys and what did I do? Locked them in.) I don’t remember many of the rides or the characters. I don’t remember staying at a (what I’m sure was a…) great hotel. I remember that while he was mad, he didn’t say much (he didn’t have to, because I already knew.) Instead, he taught me what to do to fix the problem.
Another memory that I hold dear and try to replicate with our own kids is going to breakfast. We call it pancakes with dad (or doughnuts with dad… it depends on the kid, because we each have a special place that we go). I remember going to breakfast with my dad and brother. We went to the same place, had the same waitress, ordered the same thing every week. When the kids and I go out, it isn’t any different. Same place, same waitress, same thing to eat.
Yes, it is the simple things that left me with the best memories. I remember being a child and going to Mingo Creek Park. This was our favorite park by our house (where I would propose to Becky years later). I remember searching up and down the creek for crawfish, jumping in the water with our dog, cooking hamburgers & hotdogs on the park’s free grill. I remember stopping, on the way home, at the same gas station, QuikStop, to get a pop (soda) – we didn’t do it often, so it was special.
Those are the memories that stand out in my mind. We didn’t have money growing up. We didn’t care. We didn’t take extravagant vacations growing up. We didn’t notice. We didn’t get expensive toys or gifts. I didn’t need them. We had each other. We made our own fun. We had quality time with each other and that is what really matters
Let’s try to have more of these kinds of days in our lives. Forget what we THINK they need or want and give our kids what they really need AND want – quality time with their family.
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Nice title /quote.
Good examples that back up your point. It sounds likes a nice way to grow up.
Mickey Mansfield says
They are best version on me for sure.
Rob Ainbinder says
Yup, great stuff. And why, in a similar vein, we chose this year to be a year of experiences.
Mickey Mansfield says
Rob you are so right. A big year for sure!
You mean saying “don’t lock the keys in the car” every time doesn’t actually work?
Doing Good Together™ says
What an excellent post — and a great reminder that these little moments with our children translate into bigger and better parent-child connections. We can fill their “buckets” of need with distraction-free attention (read: no smartphones) in as little as 10 minutes at time. Better yet, engage in a meaningful act of kindness (e.g. writing letters to soldiers or picking up trash together) and that connection you’re building extends to the community and beyond.