Monday, September 27, 2010

Time With Kids

I feel like I never spend enough time with my kids. Between work, church, and other extra curricular activities, I feel like we are always going and never just being together...

It got me thinking about my growing up years and how hard my parents worked. My parents both worked full time jobs and were full time farmers. Mom worked at school, and Dad was a pumper for the oil companies. He would check wells before daybreak, come home eat breakfast with us, then work on the farm until it was too hot, then pump more wells, return home for supper, then go back to work in the cool of the evening. You would think that this meant we never had time together, but the truth was the exact opposite...

My mom drove the school bus from the time I was in 3rd grade on. This meant I got on the bus with her every morning at 6:50 am, and I didn't get home until 4:30 pm...I ate breakfast on the bus, carried a Caboodle to do my makeup, and even had a handy dandy butane curling iron. I also never truly had homework, as it all got done on the bus! So, I obviously had over 2 hours a day with my mom every day, just on the bus!

When I was in preschool and in my early school age years during summer, I stayed with my dad. I rode the tractor with him, helped count cattle, moved irrigation pipe, built fence...Whatever he had on his agenda for the day, that was my agenda too. Of course, I remember going to Grandma Irene's too. I think that was when my talking was on his last nerve, or perhaps he was doing something it was unsafe for me to help with...But in all honesty, it was probably because I was talking and I wouldn't shut up..

We lived 26 miles from the nearest town. We didn't do summer league ball, and we just didn't sign up for all the little activities that families today bog themselves down in. During the summer, we were at home. I don't remember missing my friends, but I know I only saw them a few times a summer. Instead, I stayed with my cousins Matt, Ben & Jaime for a few days, or spent a few days with my mom's parents. I rarely got together with my "town friends" and the other country kids were like me...Our parents were busy doing farm work, so we really only saw each other at VBS.

I look back on my childhood and I know it had to be one of the happiest that could ever be. Not because we had lots of stuff, or went lots of places, or participated in lots of activities. My childhood was great because it was spent with my family...

A family that taught me the meaning of hard work and responsibility. That hard work taught me to appreciate the time I had off, so I was never bored, or looking for something to do. I guess what I am taking away from this little trip down memory lane is this:

My parents were busy people. Busier than I can even imagine being, but they weren't busy doing "things" that you are supposed to be involved in. They were busy working and making sure we had the things we needed...Yet, I always felt they had time for me. Not necessarily time to play with me, but they always had time with me (I can remember laying on the trampoline looking at the stars countless times.) Whether it was riding on the bus, picking green beans with my mom in the garden (I hated picking green beans) or handing my dad a wrench as he replaced the brake pads on the feed wagon...

I was with them.

I often didn't want to be working with them... I would get frustrated because Dad could drive 5 steeples in the fence to my one. He was stronger, could move faster, and quite frankly, he probably didn't really "need" my help. But, I had to be out there with him, so he was sure to make me feel needed instead of in the way...

I am going to strive to be better with doing this for my kids. I want to "make" them help me get supper on the table, even when they complain they want to play instead. I am going to "make" them help me clean up the kitchen...In general I am going to make it my goal to just "make" them help me with whatever housework or yard work I'm doing. Because I need them. I need them to spend these moments with me while we are all together in these brief years I have them at home.

Yes, they will complain. They will not enjoy it in the moment. But hopefully, someday they'll look back on their childhood and have appreciation for the time we've had together...

Even if it was just scooping dog poop.

3 comments:

Sarah Castor said...

So profound! I need to remember this! Thank you so much for sharing!

Marilyn said...

Thanks for having the GOOD memories. That was the life on the farm and ranch. Even taking meals to the field was a family affair.

Dawn said...

I am just now discovering all those things I forgot to teach the kids! oh no!!! I'm pretty sure there were no jobs that were too unsafe for us to help with!!!