The day we welcomed our little girl into our family was one of the greatest moments of my life. I thought to myself, we are going to have so much fun together, but sometimes I think as parents we tend to pay a lot of attention to the new child. Can it be hard sometimes to spend time with the older kids? Sure. But they are needing affection as much as the new addition, if not more.
Before we had our daughter my wife and I made a pact that we would make sure to spend time with our son as much as possible. If my wife was feeding the baby, I would play animals or read books with our son. Once I went back to work my wife would fulfill the baby’s basic needs (feeding and changing) and then spend quality time with our son. I feel like the balance we made has totally helped curb the transitional drama with our toddler. He understands that we need to take care of the baby and is sometimes the first to jump in and help out.
I wanted to make it a point to have fun adventures with my son at least once a week where it is just him and I, letting him know that he is loved and we haven’t forgotten him.
We’re fortunate enough to live close to our local zoo where we have a pass to get us in and even ride the merry go round and train. Of course we had fun together making all the animal noises, getting ice cream on our faces and riding the rides over and over again.
Every year my family has the tradition of attending the state fair. It’s always been fun to eat deep fried everything, ride all the crazy rides until we puke our guts out. I was excited this year because it was going to be the first time I could take my son where he would actually know what’s going on. We ate corn dogs, road a rickety roller coaster and got excited to see all the farm animals. The smile that was on his face the entire night was a real treat and it was great being able to start a tradition with my own son.
Another family tradition is to go to the circus. We were lucky enough that all these events were landing around the same time that we had our little one. These were all things that made it possible to take my son and enjoy our time together.
As he saw all the clowns, tigers RAWRing right in front of us and the elephants dance. You would have thought he was in heaven. Seeing the look of pure joy in his eyes made me realize that these were moments that I need to keep enjoying with my son.
It doesn’t have to be big things like going to the fair and circus to spend quality time with your kids. I want to have each of my children know that they are not only loved by me but that I want to spend time with them. If that means we go for walks around the neighborhood looking for squirrels and dogs or going on a hike up one of the many canyons here in Utah, as long as we are together that is what matters most.
Some of the greatest moments with my son are when we have just been playing in our front room wrestling or going to Grammie’s house to jump on her trampoline. I pray that the memories that he has with us together will always be joyous and that he will always know that I love him and all my children equally. Here’s to our next adventure together.