January 27, 2014

date day with my boy

I'm a huge fan of the 5 Love Languages. Knowing what my love language is and recognizing the love languages of my family members and friends has helped me a lot in my relationships. So many times I would feel really hurt when I felt like someone I was close to didn't reciprocate my affection, until I realized that they were showing their love in a different way. I highly recommend it for any and every relationship in your life.
William and I are pretty alike. We have similar personalities and I see in him a lot of the same positive and negative traits that I exhibited as a child. It's easy for me to look at him and assume I know what he's thinking or what he needs because of that, but that's not fair. He is his own person and it doesn't work when I assume that he will feel affection from me because of the way I show it. I think all of us love to feel love in different ways but I haven't been great at spending one on one time with William lately. He's an independent spirit and his age, in contrast to Fritz's, is really easy to forget that what my sensitive 4-year-old needs is some good, quality time with Mom. Things between us had been strained in the last month so, this Saturday that's exactly what we did.

All week long, he had been talking about our "date". His eyes would light up when I would talk to him about us going out together. It was so great to see his enthusiasm when he would talk about being together "just us and no one else". When Saturday morning came, we went to breakfast. I feel kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I was a little nervous about what I would talk to a 4-year-old about all day. He told me lots of silly jokes about polar bears, underwear and elephants but we also talked about his best friends and also what his favorite things are. I asked him questions and I really listened, without any distractions (I didn't even pull out my phone except for a couple of times to take some pictures at his request). It was eye opening to really listen to my kid. I'm not saying that I never listen to my child, but I think I often forget that he's growing up and his comments aren't just baby babble anymore. William is really funny and sensitive. He has such a soft heart and is really gentle. I loved hearing his thoughts and feelings about things without having to worry about Fritz running into the street or what time it was.
After breakfast we headed to the park and waited for the "park railroad" to open. We had about 30 minutes to kill, so we sat on a bench and watched the ducks swim in the pond. William sat silently next to me with my arms around him and quietly said, "Mom, I like it when you sit with me." A lump formed in my throat and I get teary-eyed now just writing that because he said it with so much feeling. He really meant the depth of how important this day was to him. He needed it so much and so did I.
He rode the carousel and then we rode the train around the park together. He smiled and showed me each place around the park and told me all about conductors and trains. Then we headed over to the mall to see a movie but it wasn't open yet so we went next door to a store and he picked out some new Superman underwear, which he was very excited about. William was desperately excited about getting his own bag of popcorn and I also introduced him to a Slurpee (which I haven't had since I was a kid!). We watched Despicable Me 2 and his hysterical laugh was serious balm for my soul.
It's amazing how this day, even just a few hours, really impacted our relationship. We held hands and snuggled. We talked and listened to each other. We laughed and joked. I told him how much I loved him and I know he felt it - not just because of my words. I was reminded that life is about relationships and that forming this strong bond between my children is one of the most important things I can ever do. "The greatest thing you'll ever learn; Is just to love and be loved in return." - Eden Ahbez


  1. I love it! What a special day. Great idea :)

  2. We went to the same park this past wednesday while visiting the Gilbert area for the Temple Open House, only the train and carousel were closed…bummer! Glad you had a great time:)

  3. What a cute idea! I want to do this with my future kids!

  4. This was so sweet. Made me realize that Parker boy is due for an all day date with his mommy-- we have never done that before. You are such a great mom and I'm sure that is a day William will never forget!!


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