The List

By: Tricia Baldwin

When I was asked to write something for this wonderful new Mom Blog, I wasn’t sure what to write about.  Should I write about the multitude of experiences that I have had with my three, now grown, children?  One that was diagnosed on the spectrum over 24 years ago?  One that snuck out of the house at age 15, drinking almost an entire bottle of vodka that night?  Or the other who has had a level 7 headache, 24/7, for over 12 years? 

Well, the one “on the spectrum” is now married and holding down a great job.  The ‘drinker’ is married with a beautiful 2 year old son, my joy, and did a 180 degree turnaround that same said night, embracing a life of making better choices.  The one with headaches is now a nurse, still pushing thru the pain so she can help others. 

So instead of all of thatJ…I decided to write about what I can now see as so vitally important as a mom, especially in these crazy times of at-home orders, quarantines etc.  It is what I call “floor time”.  Spend more time on the floor, playing with your kids.  The laundry can wait.  Sounds so simple, right?  It can be, but it has to be intentional. You have to be in the moment so the kids know you are present to them, that they are most important. 

I once went to a public speaker that talked about being a parent and how we all feel so strongly about imparting certain words of wisdom etc. to our children.  She asked us to think about the five-ten top things we feel are important that we want to teach our children.  Important to note is that it is YOUR list, and not all our lists would be the same.  I thought about my list. 

  1. My Faith
  2. Laughter
  3. Honesty
  4. Loyalty
  5. Love of Family
  6. Charity
  7. Kindness to others

I know there was 3 more, but hey, it’s been over 15 years since I made that list.  A girl can only remember so muchJ. 

So anyway, she then pointed out something extremely important.  YOU know your list, but do your children know your list if you were to ask them?  I want them to learn about God, about laughing and finding joy daily.  But do THEY know that these things are important to me? Try it…make your list and ask them if they know what may be on your list. 

When I asked my kids to name what they thought was on my list, my then 6 year old daughter piped in proudly, “Don’t step over your toys without picking them up?”  I laughed…yes that was important, but not one of the things on my list.  But she helped me to realize I had to more intentional about sharing what I felt was life’s important lessons.  More intentional spending time with them, letting the dishes pile up, letting the dust accumulate.  It will all wait.  The time we spent together playing, doing puzzles, playing imagination games, allowed me the opportunity to share other lessons with them. 

My kids are now 25 to almost 29 years old now.  I still have so much to teach them.  But it is amazing to see the seeds that were planted all those years ago actually grew!  They each made them their own and have had varying experiences.  But they are happy.  They love God, they laugh often, and they are kind.  They each took what I, and my husband, felt was “life’s important lessons” and intertwined them with their own.  It is so fun to see!! 

So stop reading and go play with your kids.  This in-shelter rule is a gift to all of you.  Your kids are young and this time is precious.  Make your list…and make sure they know what is on it, what is most important to you.

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