Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Quality Time

About six months ago my wife and I decided to try and set aside some specific one-on-one time with each of our children. What we do is once a month each parent goes on an outing with one of the children. The child gets to choose what the outing is (within reason). With three kids and two parents this means that each child gets two outings in three months, one with each parent.

We decided that these outings would be a good way to spend quality time with the kids. Quality time is important for everyone, However, I believe it is particularly important in the parent-child relationship. It helps the child to know that she is loved. It gives her a chance to talk one on one, and to tell what's on her heart. And when she is grown, she will be able to look back and have specific and (hopefully) fond memories of time spent with mom and dad.

For the most part our outings are simple and inexpensive - maybe a morning hike, an afternoon drive, or an ice cream at DQ. They generally last for one or two hours. Last month (May) was my turn to do something with Heidi, our middle child. Heidi wanted to go to the Marsing pond. We've gone there several other times for family outings.

So on this Sunday afternoon we drove to the Marsing pond. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day. The weather was sunny and calm, temperature in the mid 70's. Heidi and I walked around a bit, and then sat down next to the pond, and had a little chat.

While we were there a mother and her teenage daughter stopped by. The mother asked if her daughter could take some candid pictures of us. I said, 'sure'. So Heidi and I continued our chat while the teen took our picture. Afterwards they gave us their email address, and said to email them for free copies.

I set out with the goal of giving Heidi a fond memory, but now I have a fond memory as well, and some nice pictures as well! :)

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