Choosing a Moment of Wonder

Tuesday nights are a bit crazy around our house. Both girls have practice, so it's a challenge for me to get everyone fed and out the door on time. It's not unusual for my younger daughter and I to be running a bit late for practice. That's what happened this past Tuesday night.

I had rushed around getting everyone fed and ready to go. At the last minute my younger daughter had to go to the bathroom, then she couldn't find her shoes. We were a bit harried as we rushed out the door.

As we reached our exit on the highway, we saw it -- a big, green hot air balloon. It was either getting ready to take off or just landing in the field behind the CVS. It was beautiful. The sun was just beginning to set, and we could see the flame of the burner as it heated the air inside the balloon.

At that moment, I found myself in an internal struggle. I wanted to stop and share the wonder of this unexpected moment with my daughter. But we were late. If we stopped, we'd be even later. I mentally wrestled for a few seconds, then flipped the turn signal and pulled into the parking lot. My daughter was in shock. "What are you doing?" she asked. "I thought you might want to watch the balloon take off," I replied. "Well, yeah!" she said.

So, in the midst of our busyness, we sat in a CVS parking lot and watched a hot air balloon take off. I saw the wonder on my 9-year-old's face as it lifted into the sky. We snapped a picture or two. Then we finished our drive to practice.

That stop to watch the balloon only took us a few minutes. Yes, we were a smidge late to practice, but what my daughter lost in time to get ready to play, she gained in sharing a moment with me.

Too often our lives are so scheduled, so busy, that there's no room for spontaneous moments, no room for wonder. We drive our kids from place to place, doing homework and eating in the car in an endless cycle of trying to give our kids the "best." And in doing that, we miss the moments where we stop and share something wonderful with our kids.

Those shared moments of wonder bring us and our kids closer. A shared experience gives us a memory to fall back on when the days are tough and we're wondering who stole our sweet baby and replaced it with a hormonal teenager. When we don't take those moments to stop and "smell the roses," we lose opportunities to strengthen the bonds with our kids.

God has created some amazing things in this world, and He gave people the creativity to do some incredible stuff. If we rush through life checking off our to-do lists and keeping up with the Joneses with no time to stop and enjoy those things, then we teach our kids to miss the moment as well.

God says "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). We can't be still -- alone or with our kids -- if we never look up from the steering wheels of our cars long enough to see the wonderful things God has made.

The next time you come across a moment filled with wonder with your child, stop and savor it. Make a memory. Be late to practice. Because your kid will remember that moment much longer than she remembers the practice.

Linking up today with Denise in Bloom.