That minute never comes
Oct. 22, 2012
by Jenni Sebora

The bureau for at-risk youth recently put out a 10-point pledge called “The Parent’s Pledge.”

One of the pledges is that a parent will enjoy his/her children and make time to share interests and appreciate one another.

How often have we, as parents, responded with, “Not now dear; I am too busy,” or “Just a minute,” when our children ask us to do something with them, or watch them do something – and that minute never comes?

If we add those minutes up, I think that we would be ashamed and want to take them back and relive them with our children. I have heard from different grandparents how they really enjoy their role as a grandparent for a variety of reasons.

One grandpa told me he wished he would have spent as much quality time with his children when they were younger as he does with his grandchildren.

“I was just too busy then, but I know better now. I wished I would have known better then,” the grandfather said.

I have always kept that comment deep in my heart, and not just for safekeeping. I, too, am guilty of, “Just a minute,” but I try to limit those minutes.

A Family Circus comic strip by Bil Keane shows the son holding a baseball glove with a ball and the father sitting in his recliner reading the newspaper.

The son says, “Anytime you’re ready, Daddy. I’ll be sitting outside growing older.”

That comic strip plays in my mind. I think about the grandfather’s remarks. My kids will be grown before I know it, and they won’t be around for me to spend time with. They will be living their independent lives.

My housework will be there long after they have moved out. Put the housework aside, take time to enjoy my children, and make time to share interests and appreciate one another – I pledge that to my children.

We should all take the opportunity to grow closer to our children and appreciate who they are and what their individuality adds to our lives.

My three children are vastly different, yet vastly the same. I respect that in each of them. I respect who they are and what they add to my life.

I don’t expect them to be clones of my and their father’s abilities, skills, and interests. I want them to be true to themselves. I want them to respect themselves and others. I must demonstrate that respect by treating them with respect as individuals. This has always been important to me. And I want them to always know how deeply I love each of them for who they are.

One of the ways we can show them we love them is by spending time with them in something that they are interested in, or talking with them about what their interests are.

As I have shared before, our son is now a high-schooler, and in a couple short years, will be off to college. On Sundays that I do not teach Sunday school and while our other two children are in Sunday school, my husband, son, and I have breakfast together at the Central Café. We talk and share, laugh, and really listen to each other. It has become a time we all truly look forward to.

We also try and find individual time with each of our girls, too. We will carry this breakfast tradition on with them, as well, when they, too, reach this age.

Try not to let too many “just a minute” pass by. The minutes turn into hours, days, and years. Spending time with our children is something we will never regret.

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