Being with your children

Elena, the girl who died a couple weeks ago (whose father is keeping a blog) has been on my mind a lot the last couple days. In particular, something that her Dad wrote as he was starting to chronicle the mourning of his daughter’s passing:

How often have you been with your child and not been with them. You’ve taken the time to be at a kid’s soccer game but been on your cell phone. You’ve left work to pick your kid up from school but your mind isn’t there on your son or daughter and the day they’ve just had at school – your mind is already back at your desk on the next thing you have to do.

Doc wrote about this too. And what I know is, today was much different. First, we saw the turkeys. Then we went for breakfast, and then I did something I haven’t done in months with the boys: took them alone to the playground. They rode their scooters (OK, Ricky rode and Robby walked, for the most part) a few blocks away to Ricky’s school, where we played “monster” (guess who was the monster?) and yelled ourselves hoarse. We rode back, and when I got back, Becca was awake. She’s figured out that flirting with me gets her endless attention, which works out pretty good for both of us.

We went out for dinner (a rare two-fer for us: breakfast and dinner!), and because my in-laws are in town and we were feeling good, we treated ourselves to some ice cream at Oberweis. (He may be a nutty politician, but wow is his ice cream good.) One of the things I love about Oberweis is that many of the tables inside the store have chess boards (with the pieces) on them. Ricky’s been doing chess club once a week at school (I love that they mix the kindergartners up with kids from all the other grades), and was feeling very confident about his skills. He’s got the basics down, and I love that every time I bring my Queen out he admonishes me, “Don’t bring your Queen out, or you’ll have to move her every move.”

An all-around great day. But it’s the little details: the squeals of joy at the playground, the quiet concentration over chess, Robby’s puppet show before lunch… each of them precious. And while I’d like to think that I hadn’t forgotten how blessed we are to have such wonderful kids, reading about Elena’s passing has made it much more real for me. For that I’m terribly grateful.

One response to “Being with your children”

  1. What is the problem we have with focus on the here-and-now? When I am at work, I think about the kids. When I am at home, I think about work.My father took his Marquette University Masters Degree (History/Political Science) and got a job working as a union steelworker in Milwaukee. He always said that he did not want to take work home; like he would were he white collar. I always thought that he was lazy. As I approach 40, I continue to think that my father is getting smarter and smarter as I get older…

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