One of the "benefits" of being sick and eternally exhausted is you get a lot of quiet time. And when the stars align just right, you can spend some of that quiet time connecting on a deeper level with your children.
Normally, our house full of five people and a dog rarely allows for private, intense conversations. However, over the past couple of days, I have invited my two oldest to come join me in rest and conversation in the cool quiet of our master bedroom.
In the environment of quiet tranquility, one on one, without the distractions of cell phones, tablets, television and the general chaos of life-I get a brief window into the souls of my oldest 2 children.
From Logan (my 13-year old) I learned that my struggle with chronic illness and recent health crises has contributed significantly to his anxiety. I learned that he feels the safest at his church youth group meetings and at work with his father. I did my best to ease his worries about my health while remaining honest about what lies ahead. We talked about what he wants to do with his life and how I can help him deal with his emotions here at home.
From Emma (my 10-year old) I learned that she is struggling-feeling stuck between growing up and wanting to be my little girl. I have always known she struggles with the "middle child syndrome" and I worked very hard to encourage her-reminding her of all of the wonderful, special things about her that I love so very much. We talked about her relationship with her little sister-a subject I have absolutely no experience in as I was an only child. I learned that, while she has her moments where she is ready to grow up and leave her sister behind, she loves her deeply and would never really be happy without her in her daily life. In fact, they are not even ready to split rooms yet (they have shared a room since Kenzie was about 18 months old).
What I have learned overall is that God creates good out of all things. And in this case, He gave me the opportunity to connect with my 2 oldest children in a way that I would not have otherwise had.
Put down your phone.
Turn off the TV.
Turn off the computer.
Take a few minutes to just talk to your children. And for those of you that have more than one child, the time you take to connect with each of them individually is so valuable to both you and them. It is something they cherish-even if they don't have the words to say that right now.