I want to tell you about something I’m doing, something worthwhile. You’re probably doing it too, and if you’re not, there’s probably still time to begin.

It’s not a big deal from the outside, except that it can be misinterpreted and look like something it’s not. It can look eerily similar to doing less rather than more.

I’m not the only one doing it, but I know that it can feel like a sacrifice, even while being a worthy, pleasant and chosen sacrifice.

What am I doing?

The school year is almost done and I’m pulling away from some of my own goals in order to be a part of my children’s special school activities.

See?

Elementary School Track & Field Day

Elementary School Track & Field Day

It’s not a huge thing, right…or is it?

It doesn’t look identical to my version, but you’re probably doing this too in your own way, which is why I want to encourage and acknowledge your effort to be a part of your child’s life, education, friends and memories. Sometimes while we’re there, it seems like our kids don’t really care that we’re a part of that field trip or class party. But later on, when things have quieted and you have a moment together, they’ll probably let you know they were glad you took the time to be there.

Of course you want to be there, in theory.

Of course you want to know their teachers and friends.

Sometimes you can shuffle responsibilities and be at that pizza party, other times it can’t be done.

Sometimes doing what it takes to be there leaves you stressed and sweating.

Sometimes being there is a lot like work. And it can take away from time spent in other areas, even compounding tasks you had to leave for later.

It is worth it.

What if your kids are already on a break from school? You can still start doing nothing, or should I say, you can start being with your kids and put other agenda items on hold for a while. Maybe the beginning of summer break isn’t the best time to do that big clean-out-the-garage project. Maybe with all the kids home you don’t want to begin work on that novel you’ve been itching to write. Perhaps training for that marathon could wait a few weeks or until a different season so it wouldn’t have to take away the time spent with your kids and family.

Even if your child just wants to line up toys, doing it together is a gift.

Even if your child just wants to line up toys, doing it together is a gift.

So great job, friends, for doing less in certain areas so you can be more with your family. I know it isn’t easy, but when you reflect on your own growing-up years, most of us would probably have a new appreciation for the work it took to create positive memories and be present throughout the long but quick days of those foundational years. Be that invested parent. Be the parent you hoped you would be before you actually became one. It’s work, sure, but it is so worth it.

How do you best connect with your family? Are you satisfied with your relationships there, or are there steps you can take to foster deeper connection?

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