I am the queen of creative, intentional parenting ideas...it is just my execution of said ideas that is absolutely abysmal. There are so many big and small activities and experiences I want to give to my boys to affirm and encourage them, and yet I seem so weighed down instead by piles of laundry, school fundraisers, and making the next appointment on time. The immediate too often takes precedence over the intentional, and this is perhaps my greatest struggle as a mom. (Today. You never know what will come up tomorrow.)
For Valentines Day I wanted to do something special for the boys to let them know we love them, so of course, we went for the sure thing - a Walmart gift card. (There are maybe one or two Lego sets we don't already own.) To make the gift card feel a little more "lovey", I bought two cardboard heart shared boxes with the word "Love" on the outside. And then I decided to buckle down and give life to one of my good intentions. Mark and I spent the evening of February 13th writing some things we love about each of the boys on heart shaped paper and filled the boxes with personalized messages. The paper was hastily cut, the hearts a little lopsided, but the sentiments were genuine. It was actually fun to write down what we love about Jude and Cal, and the little bit of extra effort felt good.
The next morning when the thrill of the gift card had been expressed, the boys were a little puzzled about all those pieces of paper in their boxes. We explained that Mark and I had each written five things we loved about them, and we read just one that morning. I knew going in that this had the potential to be a corny disaster, but - can I tell you - the boys LOVED it! Every so often since Valentines Day they will bring out their heart boxes to us and ask for another heart to be read. We have been through them all at least once, but it still blesses the boys to hear us read out loud something we love about them. It has been amazing to Mark and I to see how much those little heart shaped papers have come to mean to the boys.
I wish I could say that I have completely changed my focus and I spend most of my time blessing the boys with love intentionally dispersed. But the laundry piles multiply when I'm not looking, the school continues to be broke, and the appointments are looming on the calendar. Yet I have changed one thing for good - any time the boys ask to hear another "heart message", I stop what I am doing to read it to them.