“Give your attention to what God is doing right now…” – Matthew 6:33 (MSG)
When my first son was young I got stressed with all the end-of-school-year activities – especially when he was in preschool. There seemed to be some special party, event, occasion, or fun day scheduled for almost every school day in the last couple of weeks. Didn’t the teachers realize they were infringing on the last of my ‘personal time’ while my son was in school? Didn’t they know I had things to do before he was out of school for the summer and I’d be on Mom Duty 24/7 until school resumed in the fall?
As frustrated as I was by all the end-of-year events I had to attend, I have to admit that I was always glad I was there. I would have regretted missing any of those occasions.
While my first son prepares to move on to high school, my younger son is coming up through elementary. How did we get here? In the blink of an eye one son became a teenager and the other son is keeping pace behind him! I look back and am ashamed that I used to get frustrated about having to use ‘my days’ for school activities. I see now how fast that time goes and how very precious it is!
Instead of trying to strategize ways to have more time for myself, I look for time I can spend with our boys. As a family we have as many meals together as possible. We attend as many activities and events together as a family as we can. I savor the short seven-minute drive I have in the mornings with my older son as I take him to school. It’s often the only dedicated time I have with him (when his younger brother isn’t also with us). Since my husband takes our older son to work out at the gym several times a week, he makes it a point to find dedicated play time with our younger son, too. I try to do my work and take care of errands when they’re in school so our time together can be about other things instead. Often my younger son and I rest together on the couch after school. That’s much more enjoyable than dragging him through the grocery store!
The best way I’ve found to spend time with our sons is to make their interests my interests. That’s not alwasy easy since I don’t know a lot about sports — and even less about playing them! (I’m usually good for a laugh when I try to play sports with them.) I spend time with each boy watching tv shows they like. Since my younger son loves to do projects and play games, I do my best allow time for those things and participate with him. Doing things together isn’t just about having fun and spending time together. It also helps me keep pace with them and stay connected with them as they grow and mature.
Another end-of-school-year is here and I’m enjoying all that I can. Once again I’m finding that activities and celebrations are taking up the last of my ‘personal time’, but that’s ok. God willing, I’ll have years later for personal time. In another blink of an eye my younger son will be getting ready for high school while my older boy (who’s actually a young man) starts a life of his own. It will only be a few years before our house will start getting too quiet and we’ll be missing our boys, longing for the days that are happening now.