This Valentine's Day, Give Your Child a Gift to Last a Lifetime.

St. Johm

The wonderful image above was shared a few days ago by my friend, Joseph, a very talented Portland, OR Photographer. Find his images on Instagram as gemini_digitized here. However, this post has little to do with his images and everything to do with his fatherhood.

On the day this image was made, Joseph headed, as he often does in late afternoon, to one of several favorite places in Portland to capture the city at sunset. Most of the time, he takes his three year old son with him.

On this particular afternoon upon arrival at Cathedral Park (in Joseph’s words), “big, colorful, magical bubbles were found. Needless to say, sunset was forgotten, and childhood bliss was fully embraced”.

And Joseph’s image above clearly demonstrates his decision to abandon a perfectly delicious sunset in favor of becoming one in the moment with his son’s imagination and excitement. The brilliant color in the sky simply took a backseat to the shared wonderment of giant, shimmering bubbles.

Give your children the gift of your undivided attention and enter their world, their imagination, their interests whether that means getting mud caked under your fingernails, building a fort together at the beach, laying on your belly on a pier to see the creatures living under the water's surface on the supports or allowing a big mess in the kitchen. Let them take the lead and simply follow.

What possible good can all the play dates, sports practices, music lessons, summer camps or museum visits have if we are not simply taking time to give our children what they need most - our attention and participation in their very own moments.

Tilikum Crossing, Portland, OR by gemini_digitized

This is a wonderful message,

This is a wonderful message, and wonderful images. Life is too short to let moments go by! It can be a challenge, though...

Yes! And, for those of us

Yes! And, for those of us without children (and those of you with them, too, I suppose) we can do this with our partner, our friends, and even our coworkers. Really listen. Really pay attention. Really engage. Oh, and (how could I forget!) I can do this with myself! I think I'm worst of all at listening to myself and letting myself play, which is why I'm making that a priority. Thank you for the beautiful reminder. :)

Alice, thank you so much for

Alice, thank you so much for taking time to share your words here.  You are so right, of course.  Engagement.  A perfect word. I am going to share your thoughts and points made here on Saturday, here and on IG with my little Valentine to my sweetheart. Thank you xoxoxoxoxoxoxox