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Published: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 6:55:19 AM

Good times together for parent and child

ONE of my favourite things to do with my son is to be spontaneous.

I like to say: “Hey, (no pun intended) get your shoes on. We are going out.”

He always gets wide-eyed and excited, wondering if I am taking him to jump on huge bounce houses, for ice cream or, his favourite, to get a toy. I never tell him where we are going until we are nearby.

Recently, we went zip-lining on a random Friday night. We tried to go as a family on a weekend a few months ago, but it was too windy, so we just went on kid rides and to the shops. We were pretty bummed.

We had a great time zip-lining, but my son had a moment of fear on the platform. I told him I would go first, and he felt better. When it was his turn, he took a deep breath and zipped down the line, hooting and hollering all the way to the other side and back again. He loved it, like I knew he would, and I loved seeing the joy that I helped bring to him.

I enjoy every moment of our mum-son time, and I will as long as he wants to spend alone time with me. Hopefully, I have several years left before he ditches me for friends. I know that our outings aren’t going to last forever.

His dad also takes him to places like the state park where they do “boy” things, and we also spend family time together. But I think it is very important for each parent to spend time alone with their child to help develop those essential parent-child bonds. I realise many kids live with single parents, so this is not always possible with both parents.

A recent Monday was the start of have-lunch-with-your-child (or grandchild) week at his school, followed by a visit to the book fair. My son asked me Sunday night if I could come, but I told him I was probably going to be too busy working, and his Dad couldn’t go either because he was out of town. I could see the disappointment on his face, but he said he understood. I told him I would try later that week.

What he didn’t know was that I had a plan.

I showed up for lunch Monday, walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder, and he was so happy. We both were. We had pizza sitting next to each other at the elementary cafeteria table and its little chairs with his classmates, and he showed me off, as well as photos of our pets on my phone.

He told his classmates all that “I was in the newspaper and famous” (well, not exactly) and showed them my press pass.

While we were eating and with all his classmates around, he said, “I love you, Mom.”

I wanted to give him a big kiss in return, but you can’t have everything.

He is growing up, after all. – Orlando Sentinel/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Tags / Keywords: Family & Community, parenting, bonding

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