I generally don’t wallow in memories or think my best days are behind me. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy reminiscing. I do.
But I also know that everything looks better in the rear-view mirror when there’s no place to turn around, and life wasn’t really any better in the past. Well, it wasn’t any better with the exception of Sundays.
Sundays used to be the one day of the week that families were guaranteed time with each other.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when youth sports and other activities began creeping into Sundays from every other day on the calendar. But they are no longer creeping. They have arrived and are taking over.
Just last week I was talking to an Episcopal priest who was lamenting that even though confirmation has been on her church calendar for almost a year, her students now have conflicts because of sports.
That saddens me.
I believe our children should be involved in activities, but they shouldn’t be over involved. Building resumes for our children shouldn’t be more important than building in family time.
Family time isn’t a few minutes of conversation in the car while rushing a child from activity to activity.
Family time isn’t sitting on the bleachers with other families while you talk about, rather than with, your children.
And family time isn’t about ensuring the homework is done or that the latest musical number is rehearsed.
Real family time is about shutting out the rest of the world and simply spending time with each other doing nothing that will ever be in a college application and everything that will create life-long memories.
Sundays used to be the day that everyone got that, and my parents were masters at making the most of them.
My mom always had Sunday dinner on the table by 1:00 PM, and we were all expected to be there no matter what. Sunday afternoons were magical because we were never expected to accomplish anything. And every Sunday evening, we made popcorn and watched television together. At some point in the evening, we had to begin preparations for the next school or work day, but for a few hours on Sunday we were simply a family unit.
I wish I could say I’m following the tradition my parents set, but I’m not. I too have gotten sucked into a culture of “go.” If and when my children don’t have something on their schedule on Sunday, I’m trying to tackle all the chores left undone during the work week.
But they say that recognizing a problem is the first step, and I’m definitely taking it.
I don’t want to look in the rear-view mirror and regret everything I didn’t see and enjoy because I was going to fast. I may not be able to turn around and go back, but I can slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life – simple pleasures like spending time with family on Sunday afternoon.