By Julia Bernier
We celebrated our son and his new wife last year at their wedding. Of course, as the mother of the groom, we took the traditional whirl around the dance floor. The mother/son dance wasn’t something we had prepared for with formal lessons or a choreographed routine. In fact, things had been so hectic before the wedding that we settled on a song and that was it. It was our turn and the DJ began playing ‘our song’ as we glided around the dance floor. In that moment we relied on old rhythms as we kept to the beat of the music.
When our kids were young, we began silly memory making fun that has had a lasting legacy within our family. On many occasions we would crank up the music and dance around the dining room table. We would go crazy and then slow it down with a traditional waltz, and along the way laughing and just being silly. But, as I glided around the dance floor with my son on his wedding day, he leaned in and said with great emotion, “Oh, mom, do you remember dancing together like this when I was growing up?” Did I remember? I was flooded with the same emotion and beautiful memories.
In today’s fast paced world, we sometimes forget that the little things can make such an impression in our relationship with our children. Carving out special memories can be as simple as establishing a Family Night once a week where you eat pizza, play games, or watch a movie together. At Christmas time each year, we would all change into our P.J.’s and pile into the car for what has now been dubbed, ‘Jammie Drive Thru’. Heading to our favorite fast-food shake place would officially begin our Christmas light tour of the neighborhoods near where we lived. Sometimes we baked cookies for friends and would stop along the way to drop them off to spread some Christmas cheer. By the way, our daughter is now 23 years old and she still requests our ‘Jammie Drive Thru’ night during the season!
Intentional time with our children is how we practice the presence of ourselves and the Lord in their lives. God made each of us in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Our children are unique, each one made in the image of God, but they have different personalities, likes and dislikes. Their identity as your son/daughter is shaped by the time you make for them. As they grow and understand that their true identity is in Christ Jesus (Galatians 2:20), they learn that love is defined by the time you share with them. This leads to seeing their Heavenly Father as a loving God who accepts them as He made them.
Having fun and making memories is something you can continue as your kids grow into adulthood. Whether we are camping, hiking, having sandcastle contests at the beach, or just eating a meal together and enjoying each other’s company. Those memories become a beautiful dance to the music of life that you play as you orchestrate your family’s fun.