We recently watched five caterpillars make cocoons and transform into butterflies at our house. It was a really fun thing to experience, and it made this time of staying at home for Coronavirus a bit more exciting. We released the last two butterflies, right on Mother's Day. One of them (who my kids' named Jimmy), landed on my son, Ever, upon release and didn't want to leave him. Jimmy would fly for a second and then land on Ever's shoulder, then land on his arm- over and over again for about 5 minutes. Ever eventually put the butterfly into a flowering tree and Jimmy stayed.
Just the other night as I laid awake in bed, I was about almost in tears just realizing how fast my kids are growing up and that time seems to be flying by faster than ever. How is this happening? Wasn't I just pregnant with my first? In only 4 more short years my oldest will be learning how to drive. In less time than they've been alive, they will be adults, ready to go out into the world- just like the butterflies.
Children are all yours for just a little while. Pretty soon they start having play dates, then going off to birthday parties and school, and then the next thing you know they are dating. My kids haven't reached the dating part yet but my son already has his first crush. Oh vey! So often our kids ask us to play with them, or watch something with them, and as parents, often times we are so busy with all of our responsibilities; making meals, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, etc., that we tell our kids we are busy and then never get around to playing with them.
When a friend asks us to do something, we usually say yes. Why not the same with our kids? Yes, we have things to do, but it is important to remember to say YES more often than no when our kids want to spend time with us. They won't be around forever and it's the small moments that really are the big moments.
My kids and I did a local program last fall called the Stronger Families Project, and the most important thing I took away from that program was the importance of having at least 15 minutes of one-on-one time with each child every day. The daily one-on-one helps create a lasting bond with your child. Do you want to be close with your kids once they are grown up? Well, start building that bond now. I know that it's not always possible to do that, but you do your best, even if it's just reading with them before bed.
I have really been enjoying spending more time with my kids, especially during these stay-at-home orders. I've been by their side with their online schooling, and we have been doing so many things together; projects, playing UNO and Go Fish, watching youTube and movies, playing badminton, going on bike rides, playing hide-and-seek, and enjoying video games too.
When this is all over, I think we will look back and remember the hard times but hopefully overall, we will remember the good that came from it. This is the time to slow down and spend with yourself, your spouse, and your kids, before we all get released from our temporary (stay-at-home) cocoons and go out into the world again. Cherish this time. It may seem long right now, but really, it goes by so fast, just like watching your kids grow up.
Also, if you are in Utah and are interested in doing the 8 week Stronger Families Project, click here.
And, if you want your own butterfly kid, click here.