“Come Summer”

“Come Summer” Diane Loomans

If I had my child to raise all over again,

I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less.

I’d do less correcting, and more connecting.

I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I would care to know less, and know to care more.

I’d take more hikes and fly more kites,

I’d stop playing serious and seriously play.

I’d run through more fields, and gaze at more stars.

I’d do more hugging, and less tugging.

I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.

I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I’d teach less about the love of power,

And more about the power of love.

As a parent I appreciate this sort of wakeup call now and again. Sometimes we get so consumed with wanting what is best for our kids that we deny them our best. Sometimes, if we could just lighten up, half the battles we fight would seem ridiculous. Sometimes laughter is the best medicine.

I have a friend who once told me, “If I knew how good my kids were going to turn out I wouldn’t have been such a witch.” She was actually a nice lady and I’m sure a very good mother but I think the majority of parents can relate to her words. We can get so caught up in wanting to teach and guide our kids that we forget to enjoy them along the way and enjoy the life we share with them. My husband and I are always reminding ourselves that in the end being a good parent is about having good relationships with our kids- not the quality of instruction that we are trying to dole out. It is as the adage says, “kids don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

So how can we strengthen our relationships? Have fun together. Run through those fields and fly those kites! Summer is a wonderful time to get away from daily routines and go on vacation. Older parents can attest that so much of what the kids remember and talk about when they get together later in life are the vacations and special occasions that your family experienced together. These highlight events make an impression and stand out in stark relief from the day to day. Along with full blown vacations you can always pitch a tent and camp in your own backyard, drive away from city lights and have a star gazing party, take everyone to the grocery store and let them choose their favorite food for a crazy picnic in the park…..

Where there’s a will there’s a way. Happy summer everyone!!

Janen Wright, Director of Faith Formation