With basketball and swim seasons quickly approaching, and the surety of cozy dinners home together looking like a distant memory, I’ve been wanting to connect with my kids.  I know I’m not alone in feeling like there are days we barely pass each other in the kitchen for a high five, let alone a sit-down conversation about things that matter.

So. Early in the week, I invited each of my children to choose something (s)he and I could do alone together.  I chose cards for each of them, each one unique, with an individualized message about how much I treasure them in my life.  I left the cards on their pillows for when they would climb into bed, tired from the day, and have something to ponder and then look forward to.

Since Garrett, now 16, does his homework in his bedroom, he found his card early in the evening instead.  He came down the stairs, where I was reading in my comfy, plush brown chair. Not even half way down, he declared “I haven’t decided what I want to do!  Maybe the mall!  Maybe a movie! What about going out to dinner?!”  I told him he didn’t have to tell me right away, that he could think it over.  “Sweet!” he said, and bounded back up,

Natalie, 10, found hers at bedtime and shyly came in to my room where I was snuggled up, again reading.  She said nothing, but held the card up for me to see.  “Have you decided what you’d like to do?” I asked her.  “I’d like to go to a craft store,” she responded, “and get something crafty to do together.”  When I said we could do that she hugged me tight.

Luke ,14, said nothing to me until I asked him if he’d found his envelope — the following evening.  I asked him if he’d had a chance to think about my card.  “Yes,” he answered, “but I can’t decide.  What would you like to do?”  Cue melting heart.

And this little scene here, described minimally and by candlelight, if you will, captures so perfectly my three offspring.  It’s no wonder I miss them so when they’re moving so fast I can hardly keep up.  But I take comfort in knowing that they are who they are, and I know who they are, and no amount of busy-ness will change either of those things.