Getting to Know our Children

Getting to Know our Children

This year, I will celebrate 10 years of marriage. I’m looking forward to this. Marriage is such a beautiful commitment. It’s no easy task, but it is well worth it when God is in the center of it all. As a married woman, I am fully aware that we evolve and change throughout our seasons in life. I’ve heard a number of times how spouses are to continue to get to know and relearn each other, because we do not remain the same in various areas of our lives. I fully understand all of this. However, I’ve NEVER received this same piece of advice regarding my own children…

I guess it makes sense. Even children will change and their interests will grow, as they get older and learn, themselves. I’ll be honest, I had not thought about this as a parent. My precious daughter is nearing her 8th year. For her birthday gifts, I did have a difficult time trying to figure out what to get her. She has changed so much! Yes, I’ll say it: I don’t know who she is anymore. Her favorite color has changed. She refuses to wear very “girly” clothing. Her tastes in entertainment evolve from one day to the next. And she is also becoming very conscious of certain things about herself. My baby is no longer a baby…

Aside from the one specific gift request I received from my daughter, her greatest birthday desire was time with her parents. She had quite a few conversations with me, detailing what she wanted to do the night before her birthday, including having a sleepover in her room with me. She wanted to watch a sci-fi series with her parents and enjoy some munchies. She also wanted to do a makeover on my face (Haha).

I laugh, because all of my daughter’s planning for her birthday eve points to how she’s inherited my knack for organization and planning things out. She truly is my daughter! But in all of this, I heard loud and clear that my daughter was asking for that precious gift of time. During these primitive years of my child’s life, I CANNOT afford to disregard what she is asking of us.

Parents, can I ask you something? In the midst of our busyness, are we taking that time to truly listen to our children and getting to know them over and over again? I know that life gets hectic. I completely get it! I’m guilty of rushing through certain things and giving the “I’m exhausted” reason when I’m asked to play. Parenthood is absolutely rewarding and ABSOLUTELY tiring. We are raising beautiful individuals and cultivating an environment that will propel them to greatness. That requires hard work on our end. But, we cannot let our children slip away from us when life throws all kinds of things our way, potentially distracting us and pulling us away from them.

When my children grow older, my prayer is that their memories may be filled with many Godly, wholesome, bonding moments with their parents. Life can escape us if we let it. I don’t want to live my life with regrets of not having taken advantage of these events. After all, teenagehood will knock on the door soon enough, and their requests may change to wanting to be with their friends, instead of us. That’s ok. That’s part of their developmental process. However, while I have this time, I will not take it for granted. I will be the mother God has called me to be and work my hardest at continuing to learn who my children are through every stage of their growth.

We only have one life with our children. Let’s make it count!

Amy Velazquez
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