Fredericksburg Parent

February 2014

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42 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • February 2014 FAMILY VALUES Tend the Embers E veryone knows a fire unattended eventually extinguishes with no chance of resurrecting the flames that once burned bright and warm. It takes tending, prodding, refueling and fresh oxygen to be sustained. Relationships are much the same. They take work, time and attention. They do not flourish left alone: they fade, wane and ultimately suffocate. Since parents are the image of healthy relationships to children, attending to adult relationships is a gift to off- spring. Let's admit it, love takes work and commitment. A loving relationship is not a given. It does not happen in real life like in movie land. "Happily everafter's" do not magically dwell overhead like clouds of fairy dust. All too soon, conflicts arise presenting challenges even in the best relationships. In this month where love is celebrated, let's do a little maintenance and attend to our "love fires." I just heard a collective moan from worn-out moms and dads that can't handle one more "to-do." I get it. I understand the demands of children, home, work and community involvements.. It can be all consuming and emptying. But take another perspec- tive. This is not about what you will give. It is about what you will gain: fulfillment, balance and a renewed love. Embers of love lie beneath all that happens in a home. Perhaps its warmth has cooled or flames reduced. Fires can reignite; warmth and light return. It just takes some tending. Your relationship is worth it. By ElaiNE stoNE 1. Drive around looking for your dream house together. Better yet, take in several open houses and compare what each of you want in a home. 2. Find a friend that the both of you know who needs a break, and offer to babysit, dog walk or tend to their garden for a few hours while they put their feet up and relax. 3. Visit Yard Sales. 4. Create a fill in the blank Q&A sheet for the other to answer and explain. Questions could include: "My favorite thing about you is _____." "I knew I loved you when ____." "It makes me laugh when you _____." 5. Window Shop. 6. Picnic at a park. 7. Have an at home coffee shop date - hot chocolate or apple cider! 8. Have a game night. 9. Check your community calendar for upcoming events. 10. Take a walk or engage in a favor- ite outdoor activity: bike, swim, tennis, playground, frisbee golf, etc. FREE DATE IDEAS " " For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, by my soul. ~ Judy Garland

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