Often times Friday nights at the Archer household are date nights. Not just dates for Tanner and I, but dates for the whole family. We try to follow a schedule:

*Week One-Daddy takes Jayda on a date; Mommy takes Nadia on a date.
*Week Two-Daddy takes Nadia on a date; Mommy takes Jayda on a date.
*Week Three-Mommy and Daddy go on a date
*Week Four-Fun Family Date Night

While we don’t always follow it precisely, we really enjoy the times that we spend one-on-one with our girls. These dates don’t have to be fancy or expensive, and most of the time are not. While on my date with Nadia at Subway last Friday, I made some disturbing observations.

Nadia and I laughed and giggled as she found funny shaped chips in her bag, we reminisced about our day, and I listened to her day dream about her future career as Angelina Ballerina. 🙂 We were having a great time!

As I looked around, I was heartbroken by observing a father eating supper with his young son and daughter. His kids goofed off with one another as he mindlessly played a game on his iPod, paying absolutely no attention to the little ones at his table. Another mother was eating with her school-aged daughter. The daughter sat in silence as the mother ate with her nose in a romance novel. The only words exchanged between the two were, “You ready to go now?”.

All that was in me wanted to say to these parents, “Parent, I’d like to introduce you to your child. Your child has thoughts, feelings, desires, and dreams. How will you ever know these things if you don’t listen?! How can your child ever trust you to listen to her heart and thoughts? How do you expect to impact your child from behind that book? Please put down your book and iPod and PAY ATTENTION!”

I really don’t mean to judge these parents, so please don’t misunderstand me. It was simply an observation that I think if far too common today. It breaks my heart to see children treated more as an inconvenience than the blessing that they are. As my heart was heavy for all the kids whose parents don’t take time for them, I made sure to laugh a little harder and smile a bit larger with my little Nadia.

Jayda, Nadia, and Baby Titus…you are gifts sent directly from God’s hand to your daddy and I. I want to treasure each moment I have with you, and I know your Daddy does, as well. I will always do my best, with help from the Lord, to listen and to love you with all that I can.  I love you all so much! Love, Mommy.