Okay, I feel old. I recently watched one of our “family videos.” Yes. Video. It was one of those that was taken long enough ago that everyone laughs at your hairstyle and clothing choices. It was hilarious from a style standpoint, but thought-provoking from the reality standpoint.
I watched as these two fairly young parents (I was still in my 30’s) interacted with their daughters. We were not on the streets of Disney World or on the deck of our cruise liner; we were in our own home doing very simple things, such as:
- Making glittered paper hearts
- Celebrating a birthday with homemade paper hats and homemade cake
- Listening to the rehearsed lines of a memorized poem that would be recited at a school competition the next day
- Curling the hair of the competitor so she would look pretty for the competition
- Making cookies on a snow day
- Giving homemade Valentine treats and handcrafted cards to our girls from their “first Sweethearts” – Mom and Dad
- Swimming in a motel pool about 1 1/2 hours from our home for a one night, mini-vacation and fun family get-away
- Playing with Hot Wheel tracks and cars that literally engulfed our entire family room
- Listening to a child retell their Sunday school stories using flannel graph
- Enjoying a snack at the kitchen table while listening to the events of our daughter’s school day
- Dressing our daughter for “50 days” at school and being silly enough to dance a 50’s dance with her.
- Filling the kitchen set sink with soapy water to play house.
- Reading stories together
I sat in my cushioned seat in our basement and wept silently. They were thankful tears as well as tears of sweet remembrance. Those were hard days financially. I remembered that at the time those videos were made, I struggled with desiring to do more for our girls. However, as I sat there the other night and watched our family, the thought that came to my heart was that we didn’t have much, but we had what many children crave – we had a home of love.
Of course we did not have a perfect home. I got frustrated too often. I demanded too much from my girls. I sinned in my response to them at times, but I loved them. We spent our time together. We had fun together. And though we did not have money to spend on them or lavish places we could go, we had what Proverbs 15:17 talks about – Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. Yes, we had many dinners of herbs – they were simple meals served with loads of love.
If you happen to find yourself in the stage of life where you have children at home, let me encourage you to lighten up and just have fun. Enjoy these summer days. Plan out activities you can do with your children. Don’t decide you’re going to have to just endure until school resumes; make the most of each day you have with them. Laugh. Let Popsicle drips slide down their elbows in the backyard. Build a fort under the kitchen table on a rainy day. Make chalk drawings of their shadows on the driveway. Read on a blanket under a tree. Get out the glitter and make cards for their dad.
Oh, and be sure to take pictures or videos of these activities you do together. Just brace yourself for the laughs you’ll get from your family in 20 years for those hilarious aviator sunglasses you had on, or the way you were wearing your hair. It’s at that moment that you’ll know you’ve gotten OLD!
What fun activity do you have planned this week for your family? What memory of fun times at home do you have?