This year for Christmas Brian and I didn’t exchange gifts. Really we don’t need anything, and the things we want can’t really be wrapped and put under the tree. Brian and I have had a great year between getting some time away together and individually. So this year we didn’t get each other anything but time.
Thursday afternoon Brian took Grayson to my parents. He did some running around, and ended up painting Gray’s new big boy room and then we settled in for a date night at home. Originally we were going to go and have sushi for lunch and then go see the Hobbit or another movie, but that’s not really an option anymore, so instead we opted for takeout sushi and a movie at home.
I was so looking forward to this time, and I am so thankful that we took the time to do this. We did something similar last year, and I think it will become a tradition. The kids can have a day at Grandma and Grandpa’s – one set of them at least. And Brian and I can have a date night and a day to just be together again.
Brian reminded me of what Kevin O’Leary said when we went to see him speak a year or so ago – I don’t pursue money, I pursue time, just that money helps you buy time. Although I don’t really pursue either, I agree that time is one of the best things we can give people. It’s our family priority, and always has been. We had date nights every week from the time we were dating until Grayson arrive. And even after that we did things like played volleyball together to get some time out of the house just us. We’re super blessed with 3 sets of parents and an aunt and great neighbors that love to spend time with Gray so we’re able to get out and have some us time more often than if we had to pay a baby sitter. Before Grayson was around we would have Jac and Brian weekends. We would tackle some of the things around the house we wanted, or just watch an entire season of our favorite show in a weekend. But we turned our phones off and didn’t make any plans with anyone else, and we stayed home (usually). Now we have Jac and Brian and Grayson weekends. We leave the outside world alone, we go for bike rides to the park and spend a whole weekend just us. We really covet our time with each other. Once Rory arrives we’ll have another person to add to the mix, and I have a feeling we’ll be doing some serious family only time for a bit to just enjoy being a family of 4.
I think recently there has been a big push towards physical things as gifts rather than time or memories. If you asked me to choose between and ipad or a weekend with my boys no restrictions (ie bedrest) I would take the weekend with my boys. I know my dad would rather get a coupon book full of fun dates with Grayson and Rory than a new table saw or treadmill. And there are some people that I miss a lot, especially during this time, and if I could spend one more day with them, if I could introduce them to my children, I would rather that then all the riches in the world.
This year I’m committing to myself and my family that time will be my priority. That our phones will be put away one weekend a month, and we’ll spend a whole weekend just us. That taking Gray out on a date is more important than getting him a new toy, and teaching him how important time is will take priority. To create memories with our family and loved ones is important and a great gift that we have been given.
This year I want to introduce Gray and Rory to some of the things that we love, and that our parents love. I want Grayson to go to a baseball game with Brian and Geppa R. To have that memory of an Ernst boys day enjoy a game that Brian’s Grandfather loved so much. I want my mom to teach Gray to say Go Jays Go every time he sees the Jay’s on TV. I want to introduce Rory to the place she was named for. And I want to teach her from the day she is born to be as strong and loving a woman as her great grandmother was, and her other great grandmother still is. But to do those things takes time.
This year we were given the best gift of time we could have ever received. My dad was given years of life back. This amazing gift has taught me that time is not something we can put to waste. That physical things can never take the place of memories and time with our families. This year I got my Dad back, the man I grew up with, the man who would run around with us in the snow and who made sure every day was special by his attitude and actions.
For 2013 my priority is time. My focus will be time. Right now it’s making every moment in bed count and growing Rory as much as I can. If she comes early it means that I’ll be spending my time making sure she grows strong in the NICU. And once she’s home, it’s time with my family.