This post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" posts.
I was talking to a friend on Sunday, who reminded me that we should cherish every moment we have with our children. I had been complaining about what-feels-like-constant time behind the wheel carting kids to and fro, lamenting the more-stringent teen driving laws which went into effect last August. She told me that car time with her daughters – all off-to and out-of college now – is one of her most precious memories. With the kids in the car, a captive audience, you get all kinds of insight and information. No amount of monitoring of the Facebook, text messages or email can ever replace that valuable in person time with our kids. Thanks Mary, for the great reminder.
Starting in January, we joined a new carpool for driving to the high school; every fourth morning it’s our turn. I find it a hilarious juxtaposition of female teens and male teens. While most of my daily interaction is with a male of the species (read: giant hulking food vacuum), it is delightful to spend a few minutes in the morning with these young ladies. They are talkative and forthcoming and love to share details. My boy, on the other hand, is silent, taciturn and wordless. We’ve recently been privy to news of a boy from another school showing interest in one of the girls (exciting!), and in-depth details regarding the Great Biology Test Scandal of 2009. These were events that I had a passing knowledge of based on bits and pieces from the boy, but once the girls jumped in the car, it was awesome to be able to fill in the blanks! One of the other dads who drives has welcomed my boy with open arms – the dad (of two girls) said he’s thrilled with the addition of a little testosterone to the daily commute.
There are all kinds of stories on the internet and elsewhere that are daily reminders to parents to love your children every day with all you’ve got. With one in high school and one in junior high, and our hectic sports and activities schedules, I sometimes pause to ponder the fact that my boy will be off to college within three years, and my daughter just a few years after that. Pause. Heart flutter. It’s the way things are supposed to be, I know that, but it makes me clutch, for all I’m worth, at every possible moment with them. Kids – let your parents hug you! We need it!
All this reflecting and loving on my kids brings me to the point of this post… my friends Brent and Michelle over at the Riggs Family Blog host a weekly blog party called “Laughter Lives Tuesday.” A place for funny family stories and Brent has posted a few great ones. My story is dated a few years back, but pretty typical for the type of thing that would happen to our family when the kids were young.
Also, take a moment to learn a little more about the Riggs family. They are amazing loving people. Please please please pray for their little Abby, who can use lots of love right now.
Here's my "Laughter Lives Tuesday!" post:
When our kids were 1 and 5, we moved to my husband’s hometown and joined the church he’d grown up in. Other members of the church were, for the most part, DB’s parents, their friends, and several other “pillars of the community.” Our attendance there was somewhat notable as the church focused on attracting young families, and the return of a member, with a family in tow, was proof that their efforts were working. So attending coffee hour after church was practically required for our little foursome. I’d stand all gussied up, perfect children in my arms, and get introduced to my father-in-law’s Rotary buddies, my mother-in-law’s Ladies Auxiliary ladies, and my husband’s potential business contacts. After a few months, I knew enough people to hold my own.
One morning I found myself in conversation with the head of a large local charitable foundation, a Very Important Person in town. I had my toddler on one hip, and a cup of coffee in the other hand. I was wearing a sharp little top, that I was sure made me look quite mature and classy. It was red and white hound’s-tooth check, and zipped all the way up the front. Deep in conversation likely related to his foundation’s substantial support for a cause I was working on, my darling baby zipped my zipper DOWN, all the way, til my shirt was completely wide open and I had nary a hand available to cover up. I shoved the baby into his arms, dropped my hot coffee, and scampered away to collect myself. The poor man definitely got a show that day, and probably wasn’t sure if it was Sunday morning in church or Saturday night at the local strip joint!
Shortly thereafter, we moved 1,200 miles away.
“One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child's name and how old he or she is.” – Erma Bombeck
"From the Round Oak Table" was a weekly column written by my mom from 1974~2002 for our small town Midwestern newspaper. The Round Oak Table V2 is my 21st Century continuation of Mom's work. See first post for more details. (p.s., I need a better logo of a Round Oak Table - anyone out there creative?)