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Thomas Maples

After a long weeks work, and what seemed an endless myriad of distractions and daily stresses life could throw my way, I heard a beautiful saying from a public add council. Simply put “it only takes a moment to make a moment.” Sitting back in reflection, all of the sudden the week seemed somehow less inundating, as I looked deep inside to see what moments I gave my children during the week to make their life more meaningful. Reflecting back, all I could see was a pool of stress, hustling from one project to the next, one outing to the next, in what seemed to be an endless line of shifting attempts to provide an environment where somehow, everyone could keep their sanity while trying to survive a week where Murphy’s Law reared its ugly head.

Sound familiar? I bet. This seems to be the plight of many modern day  American families.

Living only blocks from the private school I take my children, I see this stress on a first hand basis. Where the speed limit is posted in the residential area at 25, somehow, on Monday morning, 45 seems to be the norm as parents pass by, barreling down the street to get off to their next venture, all the while still showing civility in grace by waving yet accelerating even faster. And it seems to never end. As school lets out, they are off to project #1, meeting #2, sporting activity #3, and of course do not forget to complete school assignments #4, 5, 6, and 7 all the while scarfing down dinner and snack to assure that appropriate #8 hours of sleep prepares them for the new day to come.

It seems to be a repeat process, a Groundhog’s Day of sorts, that even Bill Murray could not do justice to the comedy that seems to be a Modern Day Family’s plight. So from that moment of deep reflection, I had to question, what moments did I give my children, to make a moment in their life?

This is the question to ponder, as it is the act of pondering its meaning that opens the door to new worlds of understanding how our relationships form, solidify, and deepen with our children’s plight to become individuals. The public service announcement showed the importance that dad’s play in their children’s development. But this idea is not gender specific, and both Mothers and Fathers can learn to become better parents and better people simply by taking moments to be with and understand their children at their level, not the level of the dreams the parent has for their wellbeing.

Remember, wisdom is earned, it is not learned. Your child can only learn from you. With that said, understand that it takes years of trial and error, experimenting with the lessons that you have taught to turn those lessons into the lived experience that wisdom affords us. So what lesson do you want to leave for your children?

Take a moment! It does not have to be some extravagant trip, or some expensive outing. It can be something as simple as taking a new route to school, and letting the children look at a change of scenery. This was the moment that stood out for me, as it was also reinforced by my oldest son, who simply asked me tonight “papa, can we walk the same way to school again tomorrow?” This was reinforced by my youngest son as well, who said “papa, I liked walking that way.” Maybe we can, and just maybe, with a number of small changes, big ones can follow, as we take moments, to make moments in our children’s lives.

Dr. Tom

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