Friday, June 4, 2010

Forget the Cleaning, Spend Time with Your Kids Today

I'm stunned, heartbroken and haunted by Katie Allison Granju's blog. I found it a little over a week ago when another blogger wrote an article about it that showed up in one of my blog lists. Her 18-year-old son, Henry, died due to injuries caused by a drug overdose and a drug-related assault. She's posted several pictures of her son. Her posts are nothing short of heartbreaking. I haven't been able to stop thinking about her.

Reading her blog has given me a wake-up call to stop cleaning the house, stop writing (mostly) and stop everything else that isn't necessary, just for a bit. I'm spending this time with the kids. They are what's really important. They are why I try to keep a clean house, part of why I write and a huge part of why I think I'm here on this Earth. Every day, we should all try our hardest to give each of our kids some focused, one-on-one attention. Have family meals. Play games. Talk. Have fun together. Enjoy the time you have with them.

Of course, we all have work to do. We all have to do the dishes some time, but we should always make time to stop what we are doing for a few minutes or an hour and just be with them. And, of course, talk to your kids about drugs, early and often. I'll be sharing Katie's blog with my sons as they become old enough to understand. I will probably share it with my 11-year-old soon. I've also recently purchased the book How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid by Joseph A. Califano, Jr.

Today, hug your kids. Set the timer for 15 minutes and spend the whole time completely focused on them. Turn off the cell phone, the computer, the TV and the radio. Read, talk, play with Legos, do whatever your child wants to do. I'm praying that none of us ever has to go through what Katie's going through right now.

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