Friday, May 22, 2009

Connecting with Kids

For some reason, I had this desire to celebrate the end of school with flying colors.  I considered bombarding my kid with silly string when she got in the car, heading straight to our local ice cream parlor, and finally decided to have "What Time Is It?" from the High School Musical 2 soundtrack (the song that plays when the kids start summer vacation) blaring from the minivan speakers in the pick up line.  A quick trip to my I-Tunes store conveniently located right in my living room, a silly pink hat and sunglasses for myself, and we were set.  

When my daughter climbed in the car, she'd been crying.  I'd been so focused on celebrating the end of my year of misery that I'd completely overlooked the fact that she had just spent her last day with the 24 kids she'd gone to school with for the past six year.  Oops.  

God was working this one, though.  It turned out that my upbeat victory cruise was delayed long enough for me to sympathize with the loss of friendships and to remind my daughter that she would see her friends any time we went to Mass there.  Then, I cranked the volume, rolled down the windows, and all three of my kids and I rocked out to HSM all the way home.  It was the perfect thing to bring her back to her cheerful energetic self!  

I love that I can let myself be a little crazy with my kids.  I certainly did not grow up with parents who let their hair down around me.  Or perhaps I did see them at their craziest...  Either way, it is an effort for me to be silly with my kids.  It's especially tough for me to force myself back into 8-year-old mode to interact with my daughter.  I think it's something that we all should make ourselves do.  If we force ourselves to let loose with our kids, interact with them kid-to-kid rather than parent-to-child, I think we would all find that there's as much benefit for ourselves as for our children.  Seeing the world from their perspective allows us to feel a deeper connection with our kids- even if that perspective is one that wants to read the same book 14 times in a row, that finds great joy in removing items from a box one by one and then replacing them, or that finds palm-sized plastic bobble head animals to be the best thing since Mac and Cheese!  If we can get excited about the same things as our kids, it's amazing what may come of them being able to share a part of their lives with us!  

* Disclaimer-- I do not plan to apply this theory if I find  my children excited by things beyond their maturity, immoral or illegal. :-)


Holly Rutchik said...

This is amazing! What womderful memories you are making with your daughter! Silly string, wow!

On a seperate note--more for mommy, YEA Whoooo! This year is O-V-E-R for you! I hope this was the worst year you will have with a teacher!

StumblingServant said...

Aw, she's definitely related to me. There's not a summer camp, graduation, or any other such departure that I haven't cried my eyes out. I still get a little sad thinking about 4-H camp and stuco.

Amanda, Joseph, and Scottie said...

I love to see other Mom's being silly and enjoying their kids. I've gotten a number of funny looks when I had a Jedi dual in the middle of the toy isle or a race to get items on an isle at the grocery store. I also love to sit and watch I-Carly with Scottie (it's crazy how much he likes that show, and I enjoy it more than x-man or some of the anime Aunt Monica has gotten him into.)

And just a note about HSM, I love it. I've watched them all with Monica (sometimes its hard to connect with a 12 year old sister, although we do have Twilight in common.) I love the clean, upbeat, and fun nature. I wish their were more sweet and wholesome forms of entertainment.

Kuddos on being that fun mom. It greatly inspired me. My friend Britt is one of my fun mom icons, you might enjoy her blog. She has three girls that she is oober fun with. The address is

I hope you enjoy, and keep the fun times rollin'.