For years Russ and I have talked about wanting to spend more individual time with our children, but we have never managed to make it happen on a regular basis. In the last 18 months the intensity and noise level in our house has ramped up considerably. Dinner is a challenge every single night with Little Man, who must win the award for being the loudest baby ever. With four young children who need help being served, cutting meat, and at least one spilled glass nearly every night, there isn’t room for stimulating conversation with the older kids.
People used to warn me that it was going to be tough when I had four or more teens at once, but honestly, they were wrong. It is incredible having wonderful and interesting older children. The difficulty is giving them the attention they need.
Today we kicked off a new family tradition, “Friday lunch with Mom and Dad”. We plan to come up with a clever name but haven’t hit upon it yet. Russ and I are taking our children to lunch one at a time on Friday afternoons – to listen to them and have real conversation. We want to hear about their classes, plans, friends, and anything else they want to talk about. The obvious schedule is to begin with Sweet Pea and go down in age, but since this is her mid-term week and she isn’t available, we jumped ahead to Mimi and will go back to Sweet Pea next week.
Our time with Mimi was wonderful! We read some of her newest poetry from her poetry class, heard about her hopes to travel to Thailand and Cambodia over Christmas break, her ballroom dance team, friends, and more. Best of all, the only interruptions were those of Mimi greeting her friends – that girl has more friends than anybody I know!
The other kids are already looking forward to their special lunch and so are we.