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Enjoying The Luxury Of One-On-One Time With The Kids

Spending time with each of your kids individually does everyone a world a good.

As I have mentioned before, I am the .

Growing up, my mother went back to college to get her degree in teaching. Somehow while she was doing this she miraculously managed to run a household of six kids, make sure dinner was on the table every night, and do a bunch of other cool stuff like make us beautiful dresses for special occasions, volunteer to coordinate school plays and play the organ weekly at church. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

With everything she had going on, it wasn't always easy for her to find time to spend one-on-one with us. However, I was very lucky.

Because I was the youngest (and incredibly awesome and well behaved) my mother would sometimes take me to her college classes with her. I was only about three or four, but I do remember. While she was learning the latest education techniques, I would sit there quietly in the classroom and color. Afterwards, if we had time, she would take me to McDonald's for lunch. I loved having that time with her.

Now that I have children of my own, it makes me realize even more how important that individual one-on-one time really is to me and the kids.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of taking my daughter Isa to Milwaukee to see the musical, "Les Miserables." She is my theater girl. She loves musicals and plays and has taken some musical theater classes.

In the few weeks leading up to the play, she listened to the soundtrack on a daily basis. On the drive up, she used my iPad to watch video clips from "Les Miserables" on YouTube. From the moment the curtain opened and the music started playing, she was mesmerized. The expressions on her face were priceless. She held my hand the entire time, and you could see every emotion she was feeling.

When the play was over she burst into tears of happiness and threw her arms around me in a giant hug of appreciation telling me "thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again. It was a day that both of us will never forget and left me looking for more ways to get some special time with my other kids.

On Easter, I was given another chance. We were at our grandfather's house for dinner, and since I didn't have to cook I had time to relax. My daughter, Madison, had to finish a book by Monday about the Titanic and was worried she couldn't do it. So, I offered to read it with her. We went into another room and together we read out loud and finished the book. As we read I could see her look of worry transform into interest, eagerly waiting to find out if the book's heroine, Margaret, made it off the boat safely. Neither one of of us could wait to see what would happen.

Both of these experiences were just what we all needed. Our lives are in overdrive right now with a million different activities and end-of-the year school projects. It seems like we are constantly on the run.

For me, being able to stop, relax and have a conversation with the kids about how things are going, and not worry about having to be some where or what we have next, was very therapeutic. For them, having my undivided attention and not having to compete for airtime with three other siblings is a treat. They can make it all about them.

Now, I am looking forward to planning some one-on-one time with Nick and Mia!

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