{Parenting} Collecting Moments, Not Things

Parenting | Collecting Moments | Kimberly Kalil Designs Collect moments, not things.

There's a marquee out in front of the Girl Scout office and at the moment the sign says "Collect moments, not things."

I've driven past the sign a bunch of times in the last month and it always gets me thinking. My kids have so much "stuff." Mike and I have so much "stuff." It's like an addiction. Even though we don't really need anything, we keep buying more "stuff."

Mike and I have talked about trying to do more with less. We're starting to have real concern about whether or not our kids understand the value of money and how blessed they are. Pretty much every, single day Cooper asks to buy a new toy or an iPad app. Even though he has a zillion toys he could play with, he wants something new and shiny.

But it's not all their fault. It's mostly mine. I give into them when they ask for more. And I'm not modeling good behavior in this department either. I buy so much crap I don't need. So why would I expect them to do anything different?

Collect moments, not things.

The night before Valentine's Day I realized I didn't have a gift for the kids. Shelby bought everyone presents and helped Cooper shop as well. I didn't want to be the big jerk who didn't have a gift for the people I loved. I decided to make them cards and with some coupons tucked inside. They each got two coupons: one for a one-on-one date with Dad and one for a one-on-one date with Mom. When they opened their cards, they were thrilled. I was worried they'd be disappointed, but their reaction was the opposite of that. They started talking about all the things they would like to do on their respective dates.

I'd like to say I gave them the coupons because I was committed to less things and more togetherness, but at the time it was a last minute thought when I didn't want to show up to the party empty handed.

Fast forward to this weekend: Shelby cashed in her coupon for a date with me. We went and got pedicures, sitting side-by-side chatting about life. I got a light pink color, she got pink and blue along with sparkles.

We got ice cream at the Cashew Cow (a place that makes the yummiest dairy-free and gluten-free ice cream from Cashews). We took a walk as we at our ice cream and talked some more. We enjoyed the sunshine and perfect weather.

Shelby told me instead of toys, we should give them date coupons as presents. She seemed genuinely happy to trade things for moments.

Collect moments, not things.

We finished our date with a trip to Kohls. She needed some new shorts and that's where she wanted to go to check out the selection. She tried on a bunch of clothes and left with a few new items she desperately needed (she's growing like a weed, and nothing fits).

It was the best afternoon. I was able to connect with her. Laugh with her. Smile with her. We collected a heart full of memories that are far better than any "stuff" I might have given her on Valentine's Day. On the drive home she was talking about what she wanted to do when she cashed in her coupon with Dad.

Collect moments, not things.

I want to collect moments, not things. My goal is to be a better example to my children and work on moving away from collecting "stuff." I can't help but think it will make out lives better.

Collect moments, not things. Collect moments, not things. Collect moments, not things.

That's my new mantra. Say it with me.

Collect moments, not things.