Connecting at Home with Kids

I don't doubt that my kids are happy and that there is a lot of fun in their lives. They love riding bikes, playing outside with their friends, building forts in the living room and all the creative play their little 6 year old and 3 year old selves can come up with. Already they are often content (thrilled, actually) to play with each other while my husband and I watch on. This is all great and lovely to watch. But I also want to be in it with them. 

For the last six months or so in my journaling and meditation, I keep hearing "connect at home." In that time those three words have meant more than one thing to me. "Home" has been our family. "Home" has meant connecting with myself. And sometimes it literally means connecting inside our home. This week I craved it. It was partly selfish - I wanted them all to myself with no plans. (I have to pause and tell you that I've never been one who wanted to over-schedule my kids, especially at age 6. But here we are near the end of first grade with a violin playing, soccer playing, Daisy meeting 6 year old. And her 3 year old brother in tow. It hasn't been stressful, but it has left the weeks full. Back to selfishly wanting them to myself...)  

I craved connecting inside our home. I needed it. And I want to maintain a solid connection at home. Over time friends can change, interests may shift, adolescence will change things in ways I'm a teensy bit scared to imagine. In all of that, and into adulthood, I hope that my kids feel and remember having connection at home. It mostly comes organically through the moments that accompany dinner, bedtime routines, movie night on the couch, or painting at the dining room table. Other times, I need to create space for it, for all of us. This weekend was one of those weekends.

All I wanted to do was floor puzzles with the kids. And that was a bulk of our Sunday afternoon. All four of us on the living room floor, our little guy half-interested yet engaged, putting together a safari and then the solar system. It was a relaxed cap to our weekend that was also full of a soccer game, violin practice, bike rides, playing in the neighbors' backyard, and a run to the store with the red bullseye. 

Sometimes the best memories are from spontaneous happenings. Other times they come from mom making a run to the store because she realizes she got rid of all the floor puzzles, Marie Kondo style. And I'm good with it... the spontaneity and the moments we deliberately create space for. Connection at home. This weekend, it was the best.

Photo by Cat Carty Buswell.