Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Gift of Time (Because They're Worth It)


Is there one child in your family that always seems to get lost in the shuffle? 

Or maybe there's one child you wish you were able to spend more one-on-one time with?

In our family, that child (on both accounts) happens to be our middle child. She has three younger siblings and three older siblings. She's in the exact middle spot, and she's just five years old.

She needs her mama too. She's easy-going, but spunky. Adorable and super fun.  Over the last year, I'd been sensing a sadness in her. A new baby was born into our family last summer, and the two-year-old toddlers demanded so much supervision and extra thought that our precious middle child began to feel the sting of not receiving the time she desired from me.

And I knew it. There were nights I cried because I just knew I couldn't be all everyone needed all the time, especially to this one. The sadness in this little girl was breaking my heart. We share a close and special relationship and I knew she was distraught because her mama was pulled in six other directions each day.



Several months ago, she was sadly lamenting, "We never get to spend any time together just you and me."

I asked, "What sorts of things would you like to do with me, if we had the time?"

That's when the list was born.

The list of all the things we could do, should we have a few moments together. Just the two of us.
  1. paint
  2. color
  3. bake
  4. take a walk
  5. do each other's hair
  6. play with baby Emmalie
  7. play a board game
  8. play My Little Pony
  9. make a snack
  10. make lunch together
  11. paint fingernails and toenails
  12. read books
  13. do a craft
  14. watch a movie
  15. go on a special date
This list hangs on our fridge. My girl beams with joy when we get to complete something on it. And I try my best to spend that extra special time with my dear girl who loves spending time with her Mama.

Is there someone in your life who is needing and desiring time with you?  Maybe it's not a child, maybe it's a spouse or parent, friend or sibling.  Try making a list of special things you can do together - lay it on their pillow for them to stumble upon, send it in a letter, or present it proudly and see their face light up with expectation.

The gift of time. There's nothing quite like it.   


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2 comments:

  1. Oh Amanda, thank you so much for that post! I have a nephew who is in the same place as your sweet Annika. How do I know it's Annika you might ask? Because when you mentioned she has three older siblings, and three younger, and she's exactly in the middle, I had a sneaking feeling it was her. Anyway, my little nephew, who is in the same place, is 4. In his family, he is sandwiched in between his older 8 year old brother, who is funny, smart, likes to talk, gets into trouble when no one is looking, etc. Then there is his almost 2 year old brother, who still needs extra time with Mama. My 4 year old nephew is sometimes left by himself, and I think feels left out. His Mama does try to spend as much time with him as she can, but it's also hard for her when she has two on either side who require her time. I will be seeing him this weekend, and I'm going to think of some things he and I can do together, just he and I. I always try to get him involved, but his older brother, sweet as he is, pulls me away, and I'm still trying to establish my bond with my almost 2 year old nephew, and my darling 4 year old gets pushed to the back burner. Pray I can really concentrate on this sweet 4 year old nephew of mine. You are doing a wonderful thing with your sweet middle kiddo. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder. Oh, and this is a good reminder for when I start back into my Ladies Bible Study, and for when I start working with the kiddos again at our School. Thanks again.
    In Christ,
    Bethany

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  2. Hi! I found your blog through the UnWired Challenge. :)

    We're expecting our third child in Sept (only 5 weeks away!) and my oldest just turned five. We'll be using the Charlotte Mason method so *technically* we won't start school until next year, BUT I thought doing some school this year would be a great way to be intentional about spending time with my oldest. She would be the happiest girl in the world if I read to her 8 hours a day! Having them make a list is a GREAT idea!

    Love your blog! :)

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