My children and I, as well as nieces and nephews, have been spending at least two days a week this summer at Kentucky Kingdom, a local amusement park. My children truly enjoy the Thrill Park! They love the speed of the roller coasters, the anticipation of the drop towers, the curves of the water slides and the fun of doing everything over and over again.
Many times in life we get so caught up in what we “have” to do we forget to enjoy it while we are doing it. I have been reading a great book, Tattoos on the Heart, and the author talks about this Jesuit idea of the presence of God being in our lives when we live each moment in the moment.
My children do this when they are riding on a coaster, splashing in the water park, sliding down the slides and screaming with excitement on the drop tower. Yes, there will always be things we are required to do in this life. Some of us are blessed beyond belief to be able to “have to” care for our children, feed them, clothe them, teach them, but especially love them through it all. Those are requirements that many of us parents take for granted. If only we could attempt to live in the moment.
What if when we are cooking we let our children help, patiently and because we want to remember this is why we are cooking? What if when we buy clothes for them we let them come to the store with us and make it into a game or an adventure so that they enjoy the process and we find joy in it as well? What if every day we take a few intentional moments to just be with our children, read them a story, play a game, watch a movie together, make a craft together, or just snuggle before bed, maybe then we will intentionally feel that love?
Our children are the amusement parks of our lives as parents. We can think about the frustration of the long lines, our children disobeying us and questioning everything, or we can appreciate the opportunity that comes with the challenge. We can learn to live in the moment because honestly that’s all were given is moments with our children and we should enjoy every moment possible and seal them into our hearts for a lifetime.
Let our children’s journey be the roller coaster, with its ups and downs. Let their experiences bring you anticipation as well as joy. Today, try to live within each moment of this day and embrace each moment God has given you with your child because this does not last forever. They grow up and move away and God willing they will have those moments with their children, but only if you taught them how.
Copyright 2014 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp