Will You Play “Improv” With Me?

Tonight my daughter wanted to play “Improv” with me. It is a game where you work through the alphabet as you go around the circle, each person taking it in turns to make up a funny phrase on the spot, beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. It can be quite fun and definitely very silly!

What *I* wanted to do was to catch up on some computer work. It was 11.30pm, I was getting tired, and I was definitely ready to quieten down for the night.

Yet I looked at her hopeful face and my son’s enthusiasm to join in the game and I thought, stuff the computer! My kids want to play!

It was hard to get into the mood of it at first and in fact the initial round was played by my kids only, while I watched on. Buoyed by observing their dramatic fun, their humour and their happy faces, I gradually shifted from observation to participation, and before long I was laughing along with them and ready to join in the next round.

And I’m so very glad that I did.

Better than neglect is casual observation.
Better than casual observation is attentive observation.
Better than attentive observation is participation – with joy and enthusiasm!

It is when we actively engage with our children,
when we join in their games (yes, even the electronic variety),
when we sit and watch their favourite programs with them,
when we take up a new hobby together,
when we let go of our inhibitions and be silly with them,

that the connection grows, the relationship flourishes, and memories worth treasuring are forged.

No, she doesn’t normally look like this!

What are some ways that you have moved from observation to participation?
What are some of your favourite ways to connect with your kids?

Message in a Parachute

You know the old “message in a bottle” scenario? Well, today I got a message by parachute. A message of love. A message I really appreciated hearing right now. I was busy in the kitchen and heard a sweet little voice from upstairs calling out, “INCOMMMIIIIINNNNNNGGGGG!!!!” I looked up and saw her toy parachute flying down from the upstairs balcony. The little parachute dude was wrapped up in a special paper blanket, sealed with many, many staples.

Mr Parachute
Mr Parachute
My "Message in a Bottle - I mean, Parachute" :)
My “Message in a Bottle – I mean, Parachute” 🙂

After opening the message and having a big squeezy hug, I was asked to wait a minute while a second message was delivered. I had a fair idea what message number two would be (can you tell we’ve done this before?). Below is the second message, together with my answer (in green).

The second message with my reply (which also had to be sent by Mr Parachute)
The second message with my reply (which also had to be sent by Mr Parachute)
Mr Parachute's Launching Pad
Mr Parachute’s Launching Pad

Isn’t it amazing how pure the love of a child can be, and how often they sense just when we need to be reminded of how loved we are? Miss 10 has so much love in her heart, and it just spills out everywhere, in little love notes, squeezy cuddles, love songs…..

I feel so blessed to be a Mum. And so thankful to my husband for working so incredibly hard to give me the privilege of being with my kids full-time, for the past twenty years.

Have you recently received a message of love, or reassurance, or encouragement that was just what you needed? And what’s more, did it come by PARACHUTE? 🙂