LOOKING BACK ON PARENTING.
I often look back, on the first ten years of parenting my son, with happiness. We rarely turned on the TV and spent most of our time together. My son and I spent many hours outdoors gardening. We planted bulbs, bushes, and trees in my back yard. We would pour over the flower catalogues, go to the nurseries and buy what we wanted, and then we’d plant the various flowers and bushes. In the early mornings, we would both get up, and go out to see which new flowers had bloomed in the night. I remember the time when my son made a bog. He researched how to make a bog at the library and then did so by himself. He grew water lotus with pink and yellow flowers the size of my hand. I never saw anything that was more beautiful than those flowers.
My son and I would walk the dogs, and visit nearby lakes and hike. I taught him the names of the birds and their bird songs, the names of flowers, trees, and bushes. He would read a lot about these topics and then he would teach me what he had learned.
From the time he was about two, I would leave all kinds of paper on the table, bits of fabric, and other materials, water colors, crayons, pencils, scissors, paste, glue, and I would watch him spend long periods of time making artistic creations. He had so much fun.
My son and I would go to the library every week and each of us would carry home lots of books to read. He learned to read early in life because his father and I read to him often. He learned to write poems and stories when he was older.
I taught him how to fish, how to follow the tracks of wildlife in the snow, how to catch a ball with a glove, and how to hit a ball with the bat. We often shot baskets in the driveway, and we played tennis in the park. We had lots of fun chasing butterflies with a net and then studying them. Then we would let them go by releasing them. I never regret those years of spending time with him. It enabled me to watch him grow, up close. He shared his feelings, his thoughts, his knowledge, and his joy.
Activities give a parent an opportunity to teach a child valuable lessons in life, to develop character, and to enjoy life more abundantly. Put away the computers and cell phones and get to know your child by giving him your full attention and quality time.