The other day my youngest daughter and I were discussing her 3rd grade report card. She earned lots of good grades and the teacher wrote a nice complement about her reading scores.
“I don’t really like reading anymore,” she said.
“Really?” I was surprised because she devours library books like I tend to devour a pan of brownies only without the sugar high.
“Yeah, we’ve started working together in groups, and I don’t like working with my group.”
“Why not?” I asked my naturally social child.
“Because they treat me like I’m invisible!” She uttered these words in the tone of voice that said “Can you believe that a group of my peers would ignore someone as talented, smart, and beautiful as I?”
We talked a little more about how to work together with others, but her comment has stuck with me. In the midst of the busyness of life and ministry my kids often get pushed to the side. Last week I was gone from home every night without my children. For the most part I was busy doing the work of the Lord: painting a Sunday school room, practicing the praise team music for Sunday, helping a lady whose husband has left her get ready for a yard sale, leading games for our Sunday School pizza party…going with a friend to the most awesomest Christian concert EVER! (Winter Jam 2011 in case you were wondering). All these were good and necessary things, but my kids ended up sorta fending for themselves. I wasn’t around for the bedtime routine, cuddle-up-story time, brush-your-teeth reminders…all those little things that moms do. My girls are 9 & 12 so they survived this week, but they still miss the Mama stuff when I’m not around.
It’s so easy to let the urgent take priority over the important. It’s easy to let the ringing phone distract me from the little girl cuddled up on my lap, the pressing church matter to take precedence over my preteen daughter who feels like telling me all the funny details of her day. So this week I’m focusing on spending a little extra time with my girls, listening, talking, cuddling, laughing, and generally making sure they don’t feel invisible.
So, what about you? How do you make your family feel special? Have you ever felt invisible?