Special-ness

With the recent birthday of a little one year old, I am experiencing a few new freedoms.  Things like going out at night, without baby in tow, and more dates with those bigger kids of ours.

This last week, Big Sis and I got a special treat of a mommy-daughter date to a Scottish fiddle concert. This was a really special concert because it involved the *famous* daughter of Half-Pint’s music teacher, who happened to be the one to first tune and play Half-Pint’s new fiddle. The excitement level that day was understandably high for my blonde-y!  We dressed-up, put on some lip shine, added a few pieces of bling, and I even put on my (only-without-a-baby-on-my-hip) high heels (Big stuff there, I know!).  Front row seats, an iPhone for intermission fun, and a Dairy Queen treat afterwards made this date night a smashing success.

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These big-time, dress-up dates have been almost non-existent the last few years simply because of nursing babies, and a hubby who’s often out late.  Creativity has been the name of the game to put the special moments in my older-kid relationships when we haven’t been able to go out on “fancy” dates.  These other dates have included

  • Lunch in the car on a rainy day.  A sketch pad provided for tic-tac-toe games and silly picture drawing while we ate our food in the liquid sunshine.
  • Tennis – even though I don’t really know how to play – haha!
  • Mini-golf
  • Getting hot chocolates and wandering through toy stores.
  • Laying out under the stars
  • Taking a drive while playing fun music.
  • Reading a book together
  • Going to the hair stylist for a special cut
  • Visiting the library
  • Opening up a bank account
  • Tide-pooling
  • Looking up silly videos online
  • Learning a new skill together.  (Our recent ventures have been crochet and drawing).
  • Making something – crafts, food, stacks of laundry.
  • Baking a treat – and eating it too!
  • Berry picking
  • Exercising.  One of my kid’s favorite dates is getting to do a workout video with me.  Or taking a bike-ride together.
  • Re-arranging their room, asking for their opinion.
  • Doing chores together
  • Planting seeds or pulling weeds
  • Writing letters
  • Dancing

A few may sound really mundane and boring, but together, it’s a date – a special few moments we connect over something we can do with each other, UN-interrupted – or at least mostly.  🙂  We might not talk much, or we may have a really deep conversation….or we may giggle and laugh really loud.  Whatever it turns out to be, each child knows I love them, I WANT to be with them, we can have fun together, and that I think THEY are valuable and uniquely special.

It doesn’t come easy sometimes.  Infact, I have to be intentional about involving THEM in my life, and my-self in theirs.  It’s much easier as a busy mom to let them entertain themselves, or keep them busy with chores, friends, play, or even media.  The difficulty comes in  turning my “home-manager” mode off to just be Mom. Loving, caring, listening, gentle, fun, interesting, spontaneous, sweet, Mom.  The mom who thinks it’s more important to enjoy this special time of life than it is to check everything off my to-do list – which by the way, never happens anyway!!!   Setting aside a few minutes or hours in my day to focus on one child says it louder than anything else I can say – YOU ARE SPECIAL TO ME!

What do/did you do to “date” your kid(s)?  I’m always looking for more great ideas.  After all, I’m thinking I have quite a few more kid dates in my future. It’s a rough life I tell ya!  🙂

 

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