Over at 5 Minutes for Special Needs, Suzanne Perryman has a thought-provoking message about loving your children as though today wastheir last one on earth. We have no guarantees about tomorrow. When our kids have medical issues, this point is especially true.
Lynn Cowell, contributing author at Proverbs 31 Ministries, echoed the same message about being genuinelypresent for our children before they are grown and gone from home. Our kids have only one childhood; if we are going to be part of it, we need to do that while it is here.
Our family has experienced some harrowing moments over the past few months that underscore this appreciation for time, for making the very most out of the precious minutes we share with our children.
Our daughter’s myoclonic jerking has taken on a challenging new twist over the past two months that has caused us to step back and appreciate our time in a new way. It now consumes all her waking moments. Her whole body thrashes with rhythmic pulses that she cannot control. It’s exhausting, debilitating, and progressing with frightening speed. The movements are so unique and unfamiliar to her doctors that they wanted her tested to rule out brain tumors or deep-brain seizures. We are grateful that the tests came back clear, but their potentially serious—even fatal—outcomes have underscored the importance of treasuring the time we have with her.
The week after hearing the relieving news about our daughter’s brain scans, I was called into my gastroenterologist’s office to discuss biopsy results from a recent colonoscopy. Now a doctor doesn’t usually bring you to his office to congratulate you for a happy colon, so I knew the news wasn’t going to be happy-skippy. Those few days between the call to come in and the arrival of the actual appointment left time to mull over the sobering thought that none of us are guaranteed a 60th birthday nor even good health. While I’m not looking forward to repeating the colonoscopy in a year to make sure the pre-cancerous polyp is completely gone, I’m thrilled not to be receiving a diagnosis of cancer.
And I find myself doing a bit more of what both Suzanne and Lynn remind us...
...focus less on the housework and more on the children
...turn off the computer/phone/tv and turn full attention onto listening to our kids
I’m doing more to include my kids, whether it’s an invitation to join me on errands or in the kitchen to get dinner ready or just sit close together under a blanket when the family is watching tv.
Instead of racing to “get through” personal care and hygiene moments, I am trying to turn them into opportunities to connect and communicate. Sure, it takes longer. And realistically, I can’t do it every time. But when I can it is oh-so-worthwhile.
This savoring of moments with our kids is wonderfully selfish as we benefit from the interactions and memories shared with them. AND it is an act of giving, in that our children receive love and respect and the knowledge that they are treasured. Is there anything better than that kind of two-way benefit?
What do you do to treasure these days you have with your children? Treasuring isn't limited just to parents...teachers, Sunday school teachers, 4-H leaders, therapists, doctors...anyone who impacts the lives of kids has the opportunity to hold these precious moments. How do you savor days with a child?