If I’m not careful, I focus on chores left undone and toys scattered across the floor instead of the way the little one runs into my arms and the way his daddy holds my hand and my heart. I complain about the eye rolling and forget to notice the teenager still tells me he loves me. I want my office area nice and neat, but isn’t the mess worth it when Benjamin likes to sit at my desk and create?
This month I’m hoping to do a better job of loving the neighbors nearest to me. Some things I’m considering:
- Sharing stories about family history because sometimes the best love stories are true.
- Volunteering as a family. I know of a food pantry that would let us put together celebration bags and donate them to families with upcoming birthdays – and that would make my party-loving son smile.
- Playing a game or creating a memory jar where I say what I admire about my family or what I’ve learned from them.
- Taking time to really solve one of our repeat arguments. If it’s a frustration that shows up again and again, maybe I should be proactive and protect people’s feelings.
- Planning a day where we sample each other’s interests. We could spend 20 minutes at the train museum, 20 minutes building a Star Wars Lego set and another 20 minutes browsing at a used bookstore.
- Documenting today by snapping a few family pictures or taking a quick video of our everyday, silly lives.
- Giving the gift of time. Sitting on the porch and reading a favorite book out loud. Making the banana bread because it makes his day. Sneaking away from the pile of laundry and calling my mama.
- Celebrating something – anything. I’m thinking of lighting candles and pulling out the nice placemats. I might even put those leftover streamers and balloons to good use just to make my people feel special. Because they are.
I know 20 minutes at the museum and a loaf of banana bread won’t magically make me more loving toward my family, but maybe they are enough to adjust my thinking and reset the dial toward gratitude.