Photo by: Shutterstock

Quality Time

by Genny Heikka
Photo by: Shutterstock

One Saturday, when my daughter and I were out running errands, she climbed into the front of the car with a huge smile on her face and stood up through the sunroof. “I’ve always wanted to do this!” she shouted, reaching her hands to the sky.

Even though we weren’t moving (we were parked in front of a store), she was having a blast. “This is so fun!”

And that’s how our whole morning went. She and I had started out earlier to run errands. I had my list of things to do and was looking forward to being productive. But a few minutes after leaving the house, as we neared the Starbucks around the corner, a thought came to me…

Three times last week, my daughter asked me if we could get a hot chocolate together. Three times I said no.

As I thought about that, I wanted to make this day different. Our schedule was wide open, and I wanted to make the most of it.

I looked in the rear-view mirror and smiled. “Want to go to Starbucks? Just us girls?” Her eyes got wide. “Sure!”

We sat at a table outside. As we ate, we sprinkled crumbs on the ground and watched the birds.

We talked…

About how she felt about the fourth grade. And what her favorite thing is about summer. We saw a dog that reminded her of our dog Lady (who died a couple months ago), and we talked about God and Heaven.

We must’ve sat there for an hour, but I’m not sure. I never checked the time.

After Starbucks, we headed to a store. Halfway through the aisles, my daughter discovered massage chairs.

“Mommy! We have to try these!”

She plopped into one of the chairs and pushed the demo button. She laughed as the mechanical rollers went up and down her back.

Normally, I’d watch her for a few minutes and then hurry her along. But instead, I plopped into the chair next to her and smiled. “All right. How do you turn this thing on?”

We sat there for a long time, laughing and “oohing” and “ahhhing” through our massages. We even got a few stares from people walking by. Which made us laugh harder.

The next stop—a gift store—was just as fun. We held hands and browsed the aisles, taking our time.

In our browsing, we found something that we never would have spotted had we been doing errands my way, at full speed. On a bottom shelf, tucked in the corner, was a box of large magnifying glasses-the exact size magnifying glass my son has been wanting for weeks.

It is wonderful the things you discover when you are not in a hurry. And it’s amazing the quality time that can be created, simply by ignoring the clock.

When you think about it, my daughter and I didn’t do anything “special” on Saturday. But, really, we did.

In the midst of ordinary things, we had an extraordinary time together. And I was reminded that I don’t have to make grand plans to create special memories with my kids.

I just need to focus on them.

And slow down.

And ignore the clock.

Genny Heikka is a mom, author, speaker, blogger and coffee lover. Stop by her blog and share a cup!

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