Look at me, Dad!

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Photo Courtesy of Ashley Sisk Photography

Recently my nine-year-old says to my husband, “Dad, all the Christmas movies we watch have dads that don’t pay attention to the kids. At the end they realize they need to spend more time with them.” My husband laughed and said “you are right buddy. Isn’t that odd”. He wasn’t laughing at how funny that statement was, but how amazed he was at our son for noticing a common theme.

I am super guilty of “checking out” when my husband “checks in”. As a stay-at-home-Mom, I kind of reach a point every evening where I am done. I wanna have adult conversation, chill on the couch, soak in the tub, catch up on social media/email/etc. and just zone out. My husband comes home from work and jumps into Super Dad mode. He is amazing. I can’t sing his praises enough. Seriously. Despite the fact that I often retreat during this time, I know that family time is important. (I am blogging to myself today).

We have all heard it a gazillion times, but this season of parenting goes by in the blink of an eye. I can’t believe I already have a nine-year-old. I know my parents can’t believe they have a 38 year old. As soon as kids are born, life goes into warp speed. It is scary and sad and exhilarating all at the same time. My dear friend often reminds me, the days are long but the years fly by.

There is one truth to kids that is universal. They spell love, T-I-M-E. There are hundreds of psychological and medical studies to support quality time with children. Even in infancy, babies need to skin-on-skin contact, cuddles, kisses, warm hugs. This is where babies begin to thrive. This need for human contact doesn’t end when a child learns to walk, it continues throughout life. Children need our time and attention.

The arts often reflect culture. Unfortunately for my son, he picked up on a cultural theme that needs attention. Dad’s (and mom’s too), our children are asking us to “look at them”. There is an intense desire in them to be with their parents. They want to play with us, laugh with us, make jokes, watch movies, run, create something fun and exciting. They want to be with us. They want to be hugged tightly. Kissed. Told they are amazing and wonderful and loved. We have to look at our children in the eyes daily and say “I love you”. We have to teach our children how to be amazing parents.

In this season of parenting, make time with your children a priority. Don’t blink and miss out on what is the most rewarding job you’ve ever been given.

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