Going through old blog posts is a fun exercise, if for no other reason than to realize that your writing was worse years ago than it is now. Some of the topics, which seemed like good ideas at the time, maybe aren’t so much anymore. But sometimes you come across something that might still be useful… this is one that I love as much today as I did when I wrote it 5 years ago.
Over a recent weekend my wife and I talked about some of the things that were going on during the upcoming week. A PTO meeting was on the agenda for that Tuesday night, which meant she was gone and I’d be home with the kids. Sometimes ‘babysitting’ as they referred to it, but parenting to the rest of us.
We had dinner before my wife left, she kissed them goodbye and goodnight, and then my two daughters and I were left to do with the evening what we wanted to. Of course there were the many things that HAD to be done – backpacks put away, school items ready for tomorrow, showers to wash off the practice-stink, hair to be dried and detangled (ah, if you’ve never detangled 7 & 8 year old girl hair after a shower, you haven’t lived!), etc.
But who is to say we just have to do the stuff that HAD to be done? I had taken a home theater sub-woofer to a local shop to get repaired, but they returned it knowing not one more thing than I did – it didn’t work. Uh, really? So there it was, sitting in the middle of the floor, and I made a decision then to open it up – with the kids.
We got the drill out. They learned about the difference between the ‘1’ setting (the torque setting, used for setting screws) and the ‘2’ setting (the speed setting, used for drilling). They learned about circuit boards. They saw the inner workings of a speaker, how some companies cut corners and how they do small things that can make a big difference. They used the drill on the screws. They were fascinated.
I can’t tell you the last time I was fascinated by taking something apart. It used to amaze me. Just haven’t done it in a while. But what was even more amazing was doing it with the kids. It was watching them be amazed at a circuit board. To recite the colors of all of the wires. To laugh hysterically when the magnet on the bottom of the speaker picked up all the screws we had on the floor from taking the speaker apart.
And we were doing it all together. There was no TV, no radio, no influence from any other place. Just us playing. Being together. The only thing that could have made it better was if my wife had been home too.
It is, and always will be, about the little things. It’s not the big trips, the big items that can be bought, the huge celebrations. Those are great, but they are single points in time that can only add up to so much. It’s the little things along the way – along the ENTIRE way – that make the difference.
A laugh here.
A hug there.
A ‘snuggle’ with the kids here.
A dinner at the table together there.
A wink to your spouse here.
An ‘I love you’ at the end of the day there.
That’s what counts.
It’s the simple things.