I heard him then and I let out an appreciative laugh at my knowing boy, with his serious question asked in his child voice. I put my phone down and give him and his conversation my full attention.
I would be lying if I said that I’m a changed woman; that every conversation I have now with my children would always receive my full attention. I posted before about my struggles to remain present in every day moments. It’s hard. I’m human, and they’re young children with endless questions. I zone out for the sake of my sanity.
But I did use this opportunity to resolve to carve out time for my kids that is just theirs. Special time with no distractions. More than just playing with them in their rooms – which is important, don’t get me wrong – but an event that they can look forward to and get excited about. A “date”, if you will. And thus the idea of a series of monthly kiddo dates was born.
We had our first date a couple evenings ago at a new ceramics place that opened up in our mall. Narls and Emerson and I walked around the store, looking for our perfect pieces.
I let them have complete creative control. I chose a coffee mug, to which Em noted, “you love your coffee, don’t you mumma?” My son zoned in on a dog, which didn’t surprise me, and my daughter chose a cat over a fairy, which did surprise me. We chose the paint colors we wanted and talked about our favorite colors and how to mix colors to create other colors and why real cats aren’t blue and pink but it’s ok if ceramic cats are painted those colors.
I was nervous about their energetic, clumsy bodies in that fragile store, but we talked about the importance of being careful. In short, we talked about everything. And anything. Narls told me about his friend at school who has newborn baby kittens, and Em wondered if all these ceramic things come alive at night when the store is closed.
I smiled at their silly stores and patiently answered their questions. I took a few minutes to snap these pictures but I never picked up my phone or let my mind drift away from what was happening during this moment that I was spending with two of the most important people in my life.
We left with our items (well they did, I have to come back in a week to get mine), feeling proud and creative and happy and heard. I'd say that's a pretty successful first date.