“Millie! Rachel!” I holler as I finish up the lunch dishes at the sink. I know when I can’t hear them playing, they are usually up to no good. “Rachel?” I call, drying my hands. She’s two years old and still apt to answer, even when she’s up to no good. I peek into the family room. They aren’t there. I continue through the house, checking downstairs, the laundry room, the bathroom. All the places they could make a mess or otherwise get into trouble. Eventually I make my way to their shared bedroom. As I push open the door, I freeze, afraid to make a sound. In the dim light, I see my girls lying on the bed, side by side, reading a book together by the light of their ballerina lamp. I stand still and watch, filled with love and appreciation for my daughters and the close relationship they have. It’s a moment I will never forget, and I hope they will remember as well.
I love catching my children in quiet moments, showing affection for one another. Sometimes those snatches of time seem far and few between. I’m usually more likely to hear loud voices, running feet and see toys strewn around the house. In the rush of life and all its busyness, showing affection to those we care about often takes a backseat. It is too easy, it seems, to put work or school or cleaning before the relationship I have with my children and making time for quiet moments of affection. I frequently find myself either hurrying my children through the day or asking them to wait until later. When I do that too often, those quiet moments I long for slip right through my fingers.
The very challenge of making time for each other, however, makes those moments even more cherished. I’ve learned that the harder I have to work for something, the greater the reward. That same idea is true in the family. When I consciously place my children and husband as my top priority, our relationships are stronger and more rewarding. The quiet times I spend with my children, individually and together, are treasured moments for me. They are something I look forward to and often recall on long, demanding days. When I find my children making time for each other, with no direction from me, I feel like all is right in the world.