Our little family had one of those amazing Saturdays that you wish you could bottle up and pull out again when they are teenagers and want nothing to do with you.
We woke up late and cuddled together in pajamas watching cartoons. We had a late, leisurely breakfast of made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes prepared with love by my husband – the best pancakes ever! We spent the entire afternoon together outside. We had no where to be; we ignored the dirty house and piles of laundry; I didn’t check my work email once.
To cap off our day of family fun, the four of us – plus our 60 pound mutt dog – cuddled on the king size bed and watched Frozen. My 5-year-old was in heaven, waiting to sing along with each of the songs he knew. My daughter, who is 2, was snuggled under my arm in her adorable yellow-flower footie pajamas under layers of blankets and stuffed animals. I was certain she wouldn’t stay still for the entire movie, but she did. My husband and I kept glancing at each other with secret little smiles that said, silently: “Could life get any better than this!?”
It all sounds so simple when I think back on it now. But in the moment, it was perfect. We were filled with peace, with love, with the simple happiness of family. I was in near tears thanking God for the blessings of our family. And yet I was sad at the same time because these moments are fleeting.
At church the next morning, we sat with a friend, the mom of 2 college-aged kids. She told us that her kids had been visiting the night before, and that they had sat down together and watched a comedy. It was a fun, simple time of laughter and togetherness. She didn’t know that our little family had done something very similar the night before. But her story was just what I needed to hear.
I can’t bottle up the wonderful moments with my children while they are young to save for later. I need to appreciate that time moves quickly, but at the same time not let the fact that my children will grow up diminish my enjoyment of the now.
But if my husband and I plan to create this strong, life-long family bond, we must always teach and set an example of values that rely on faith, love, trust, compassion – the fruits of the spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
For these traits which declare us individually to be a member in the family of Christ can also be those that say we – the little group of 4 cuddled together watching Frozen – are family.
No matter what values we live out in our family, I know that I won’t be able to re-live my favorite moments, and in the future our time together won’t be the same as it is now. But there will be new, different, hopefully even better family experiences. My friend with the college-aged kids reminded me of this – though I don’t think anyone in her story was wearing yellow-flower footie pajamas. (Well, you never know.)