Only at Western
Lifelong Learning - Be That Mom (August 2014)
By: Dr. Lu Sweet
A friend and I were talking and we decided most everybody knows that one mom that always drives the carpool, or helps out at school functions or lives in the house where all the neighborhood kids seem to hang out. We both agreed that it's important to be "that mom"!
I have my planner with me at all times so I can coordinate all work appointments and all of my children's events. It's not easy, but I try to be present at every event they participate in. My kids are growing up right before my eyes and I am so proud of them and who they are becoming. I don't want to miss a moment. I don't ever want to hear myself say, "I wish I would've taken the time to be at their events… to help with homework… to chaperone their field trips… to spend family time, etc., "and so far, I haven't had to. I've been able to be there.
I absolutely don't mind taking my lunches late in the afternoon when possible so I can pick my kids up from school. It's not that they couldn't ride the bus, but I like having time with them that I wouldn't otherwise get. I ask about their day and I get "alone time" with them. In order to spend the time I need and want to, with them, I go to bed pretty late and get up rather early. Again, that's what needs to happen.
Recently, Chloe and I were sitting out on our front porch, enjoying a nice afternoon. She remarked that when she was smaller the front yard seemed so big but now that she is older, the front yard seems tiny. She's right. When the kids were smaller, we were able to play family tag in the front yard. Now we'd be standing just feet apart from each other which wouldn't make for a very good game. The same can be said for the tree in the yard. Our tree was relatively small when we moved in and the kids were small, but now it's very large. I don't remember it growing, but it grew, without us noticing even though I saw it every day. That's the way it has gone with my children. I remember their first days of kindergarten, when they lost their training wheels, when they went to their first sleep overs and all of those wonderful memories. They were small just yesterday, but they've grown right before my eyes. This is why I refuse to miss everyday "stuff" by being too busy. It's why I want to be "that mom".
(Robin Williams will always be one of my all-time favorite actors and I am saddened by his passing.) In the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin's character tells the judge how he feels about his children. It goes something like this: "Ever since my children were born, the moment I looked at them I was crazy about them. Once I held them, I was hooked. I'm addicted to my children. I love them with all my heart. And, the idea of someone telling me I can't be with them, I can't see them every day-it's like someone saying I can't have air. I can't live without air and I can't live without them-I just want to be with them. I need that. We have a history. They mean everything to me and they need me as much as I need them."
In the movie, his speech was at a custody hearing, but I reference it because it's how I feel about my kids, every day. Even when I'm busy or tired, or both, there's never a time I don't want to be around them. Children are a breath of fresh air. They are creative, they are fun, they are excitable and they are spontaneous. They grow so fast and I refuse to miss all that. Enjoy your children and have a great day!
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