My son has recently become close with a little boy who lives at the end of our winding country road. I am happy that he has found a friend nearby who is close enough that they can have play dates on short notice. But the proximity also means that they want to spend all their free time together. My son was invited to his friend’s house one Saturday to spend the whole day. I was a little uncomfortable with the idea of him going for the whole day since we don’t know the family that well, but I thought it would much more fun for him than spending the day at home with just me and his dad (our daughter was away). But when my husband heard the plan, he was calmly insistent that it not be a whole day event. Our son could go, but only until mid-afternoon. The little guy was not thrilled with this idea, but came home without complaining when it was time to pick him up.
We’d recently had a huge dump of lovely fluffy snow, so that afternoon he and I set out to make a huge snow mound in preparation to build a quinzhee (a type of snow shelter). He pitched in whole-heartedly, and we had a wonderful time. Not long after we began, a raven flew low overhead, making funny guttural noises. We began to imitate the sound and the bird circled around, peering down at us side-ways. It answered us and continued circling and looking down. We kept this up for several minutes and my son’s enthusiasm at being able to interact with a wild creature was unbridled.
That evening, thinking back on the day, I was so thankful that my husband had insisted on preserving our family time. While I want my children to have time with their friends and go on play dates, I never want it to be at the expense of precious family moments. These moments are the ones that are most vital in keeping our children’s hearts
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