You know the saying, "Out of sight, out of mind."
Often times, when things and people are not consistently in our view, we lose sight of those them. We sometimes forget that they exist. We fail to maximize the utility of the things. We fail to recognize the full potential of people.
This even rears its ugly head within my family.
My husband and I often refer to ourselves as the Greenhouse Effect 6. Most people easily recognize five family members, my husband and I and three daughters. I'm sure there are some who silently wonder about the number six. Yes, we have a dog. But, no. Mystic is not the representative of the number six.
The sixth member of our family is my 20-year old son who lives in Maryland with his Mother. He has lived with us on and off over the years. He doesn't get to visit often but there is still a connection.
Even in his absence, he is still an important part of our family.
Similarly, my husband recently did some work on our home and pulled out our pressure washer. I immediately thought about my son.
A pressure washer is often used on items on the outside of the home, such as shingles, decks, and cars. Pressure washers are typically used to remove dirt in a short amount of time. It can not operate without a supply of water and electricity. The agitating quality of the pressure is what garners the end result.
It's these same qualities that exist with parenting children who reside outside the immediate family home.
Maximize time and resources. When we use items infrequently, we we tend to store them away in a specific place. When we pull them out of storage, it's usually for a limited time and purpose. When we pull them out, it's because we are ready to give them our full attention. Because my time with my son is often split with his dad and sisters, I have to really ensure that I pack in everything I can, when I can. I try to take advantage of every moment we have together. Learning to take full advantage of the time my son spends with us has been pivotal in our lives. Every moment is precious. Don’t waste them.
There is a gratitude in simple things. Think back to a time when you were looking for something. When you least expected it, the very thing you were looking for appeared in the most unsuspected place. That's how I felt when I realized that we own, not just rent, a pressure washer. That's also how I feel about my son. He came into my life when I least expected him to. He brings an unexplainable joy. He develops my character. He has pulled me outside of my shell. I’m extremely grateful for my adult son who lives in Maryland with his mother. Even though he is outside the home, he is important to the overall maintenance of my home.
I can't say I always get it right. However, I can say that my intentions are pure and I value my son the same way I value other household members.
What do you do to nurture those things and people that are not consistently within your reach and site?