Morning Moments for Connection

Remember waiting for the school bus as a child?  I didn’t imagine I would repeat that in my life, but it has become a sweet point of connection with Honeybee.  Whenever possible, I walk to the end of the driveway and wait with her.  It’s a brief moment when I can give her my attention.  As the bus slows to a stop on the highway, I walk to the mailbox and hug her  as she leaves for the day – usually telling her I’m going to give her a big kiss or embarrass her in some other way as the other students look on.

Although I didn’t think Honeybee would want to ride the bus, she jumped at the opportunity.  In previous years, Russ drove Honeybee and Dimples to school.  They were both very stressed about being late and often blamed one another for not being ready on time – although in reality, they were almost never late.  The tension was significant, enough so, that the younger three children were not allowed to come downstairs in the morning until the two girls were out the door.

When we were in Nebraska, Ladybug began riding the bus with Honeybee, so now the three of us walk down the driveway together.  Being the most extroverted child I know, Ladybug loves any opportunity to connect with people, even if it is on the school bus.

I’m bracing myself for winter when five minutes of standing in freezing temperatures will test my resolve to maintain this point of connection.  It’s a joyful moment in my day – so much so that yesterday, when I was running late, the girls left without me. I was so sad to miss seeing them off that I ran down the driveway to meet them.  They looked up, wondering if something was wrong, so I opened my arms wide and ran like I was greeting a long lost friend.  It was silly, and we all laughed as the bus pulled up and I sent them off for the day.

It’s the little things of mothering that fill my heart and give me joy.

What small moments do you use to connect with your children?  Share them with us.  

Lisa

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

17 Comments

  1. Paula Miles Spears
    October 12, 2012

    This is a lovely post, but the main idea I am taking from it is when winter settles in, I'm going to be feeling extra glad that my driveway is way shorter than yours. 😉

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 13, 2012

      Paula – you crack me up! Yes, I think you are going to like your short driveway and crawling back into bed once the kids are on the bus 🙂

      Reply
  2. Em
    October 12, 2012

    I love this! Wish I was there to give all three of you big hugs before school! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 12, 2012

      When are you coming to visit? Call me!

      Reply
      1. Emily
        October 12, 2012

        Ugh, I still haven't replaced my phone. If I haven't gotten a new one by this afternoon I'll skype to the home phone :).

        When is good??

        Reply
  3. Tobi Wright
    October 12, 2012

    I connect best with my kids at bedtime. Though they are teens now they still like David and to pray over them and talk about their day. I also love anytime I have alone with them in the car – no distractions!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 12, 2012

      Tobi, I love that you still pray over your teens at night. Russ connects best with the kids at bedtime too – he always tucks the kids in and prays – I'm usually completely spent by then and glad to him take over.

      Reply
  4. Carly
    October 12, 2012

    Our bus wait time is a time we use to reconnect if the morning hasn't gone 'as planned' when we pray together and talk about what might have gone wrong, and what can we do better next time? Most mornings we use the time to read a chapter book out loud. No cheating, no reading ahead on our own… good memory building. I drive down the driveway- and use the heater. I have purposed to leave 15 min before the bus comes to be able to have that time, and the mornings we run behind, we are still on time. I use my phone's alarm with a car horn to tell me it's time to go down… I love picturing your 'silly', Lisa! Drama Queen. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 12, 2012

      Carly, reading in the car with the heater blowing is a great idea, and I like the idea of allowing extra time. Of course, once it snows, it will mean that the driveway has to be plowed so I don't get stuck – but I hear it's supposed to be a mild winter.

      Reply
  5. Linda
    October 12, 2012

    Driving! I found that the best times of connection with teens, especially boys, is when we are alone in a car together. They aren't as distracted and there aren't any interruptions from other people as long as the phones are turned off. The teens also know that if we want to be safe, we need to keep emotions in check and have no yelling. An added bonus is that no one can just jump out and slam the door behind them. One time I drove over 80 miles with a teen that was having a difficult time with a move. It used a lot of gas, but it was well worth it.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 12, 2012

      Great idea, Linda. Just keep driving – I'm going to give that a try.

      Reply
  6. Michelle
    October 13, 2012

    I'm a teacher and every afternoon my son runs outside to kick the soccer ball and my daughter comes in to see me. She sits on my lap and tells me all about her day and what she is worried about. She's 8 and very tall and I worry she won't be sitting on my lap much longer. I love that time – she is a huge extrovert and such a talker where as I'm very quiet. It's a perfect time and place for us to connect. I cherish it.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 13, 2012

      That sounds great, Michelle. I love holding my kids too – and it's sad when they get too big. We have a big chair (or chair and a half) that easily holds two of us, so I often sit in that with my big kids and it's almost just as nice.

      Reply
  7. karenpullin
    October 14, 2012

    My oldest and I talk in the car and my 10 year old and I often connect in the kitchen…either over breakfast in the morning or snacks in the afternoon. By the way, I love the picture of the girls with the house behind them. So beautiful!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 14, 2012

      Karen, the car seems to be a good place for many of us – and food is always a good point of connection. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  8. sleepyknitter
    October 14, 2012

    Nap time is the best. Not always, but often. I love, love, love the one-on-one time with a child who is stalling going to sleep and consequently is full of sweet-spirited chatter. I try hard to make the nap time routine something that each of the children looks forward to.

    My husband is the bus waiter at our house and often has special time then to talk with the girls.

    Tonight, though, I had a special time with my oldest, who is our newest and who often responds as though she doesn't feel she "fits in" with the family. She and I were cleaning her room together, and when we were done, she asked if we could lie down on the floor together and talk. I said yes, and she got out pillows for us and turned off the lights, then snuggled up close against my arm and asked if I did this with my mother when I was a little girl. I couldn't remember, so I said yes, hoping that was the right answer. Then this precious girl and I had a long visit about all kinds of things, including stories from her past that she had never shared with me before. I was amazed by the entire experience and thankful that my husband kept the other children busy so that I could have this time alone with this daughter.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 15, 2012

      That is truly lovely – sometimes we can't plan for the best moments of connection, we just have to seize them when they happen.

      Reply

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