This year for Christmas we decided we would give time. Not like a Rolex, or anything like that, but an intentional effort to spend time with my parents. So, we calendared two weeks of vacation, one with my mom and the other with my dad. Our schedules are hectic and the earlier we can get it on the calendar the better the chance it will actually happen.
The week with my mom was camping over Spring Break. The plan was perfect, the dates set, and when everything finally came to fruition we forgot one thing: the weather. Spring Break was FREEZING!!! As we looked at the weekly forecast, we noticed that the temps were going to be below average, and I’m talking really below. On Monday of Spring Break, the low was 27 degrees. Needless to say, everyone was worried about our ability to endure, and with three kids under the age of ten, the other important question was: How much whining would we have to deal with? As a parent I know the truth: The only thing worse than a cold week is a whiny cold week.
Despite my fears, we set out to tent camp in the great outdoors. We brought heaters and packed everything we could think of to stay warm. Sunday after church we set up camp and, as it turned out (due to the weather I suspect), we were the only campers in this part of the park. It was just us, the family, sharing time and emotion together.
It was awesome. We made fires, cooked S’mores, hiked every day we could, and through it all we had fun. Yes, we wore our coats all the time, but it didn’t matter. As a family we were experiencing our own little adventure and the fun we were having outweighed the temperature. Actually, beside one chilly night, the weather was really a non-factor. We ended up coming home a day earlier than expected, but it wasn’t because of the cold, it was because of the impending rain.
As I reflected on the week, and our epic adventure, I realized something pretty important: If I have fun, if I engage, if I am willing to think of it as an adventure, then my kids will too. As parents, the kids will follow our lead and quality time will always outweigh the perceived barrier.
The task of parenting is probably more about our attitude than it is about our kids’. And while there are always going to be things (like the weather) that we can’t control, the question we have to wrestle with is: How am I doing with what I can control?
A friend of mine loves to say, “More is caught than taught.” Sometimes I can forget the importance of that message. Do you have an attitude worth catching?