As a parent of multiple children you realize that you must reach each one of them individually in order to have an impact on their lives. Every child learns differently and listens differently. Every child has different signs of affection and a different 'love language.'
The other night, Bryon arrived home from work exhausted. There was not time for weight lifting in the basement to relax and there wasn't a game on television to watch for unwinding. It was too slippery outside to run. He was a work zombie. Mabel and Trevor were otherwise occupied and so when Andrew arrived in the kitchen, he asked Bryon to help him work on a space station.
My husband was intrigued by Andrew's level of engineering detail and wandered into the kitchen.
Within moments, they drew up a plan for expansion, which included boosters, turrets, and a laboratory.
The building went on for hours.
The smile on Andrew's face was priceless. Watching my husband fully-relaxed and engaged in Andrew's imagination? Also priceless.
They laughed at one another and had fun and I stayed completely out of it, except to sneak-capture these photos. Andrew talked about his breakup with a girlfriend [he's not bothered]. Bryon told Andrew about the machinery he had to fix that day.
There was much quality time.
There we turret and gunfire noises from both of them. Lots of, "Oh! Let's use this! Use this! OOOH! COOL!" Also, Bryon made a space toilet and was very proud.
I haven't seen my husband so relaxed in weeks. I have prayed for peaceful, playful moments like this a lot lately and I am beyond grateful for it.
When they were finished for the evening, Bryon left the diagram for Hayley and Andrew was excited to make a plan of execution for her next visit. When she arrived the following day, Dad gave her a guided tour of the new space facility. The quality time from the night before bled right over into those moments as well, as she gasped and giggled at what Daddy had started and left for her to finish. There was lots of hugging. She asked him questions about the aliens in the lab and the satellites on both ends of the station. Within an hour, she and Andrew had the whole thing reworked and it had been properly Hayley-fied. It was awesome.
A week after the space odyssey, Hayley helped her dad pick out new lego sets. Stay tuned for photos!
Apparently legos are a key to quality time, yo.