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Go Ask Mom

Julia Sims: I love you tight

Posted December 17, 2012

WRAL-TV reporter Julia Sims with son Will

For the last few days, since the unthinkable horror in Connecticut, we've heard the phrase "hug your kids tighter tonight."

It's been spoken by friends, tossed around in the media. It's true. We should hug our kids tight, we should hug our friends and our family tight too. But, as parents, we should do something more. We need to be there for our children, really be there.

Here's what I mean: A while back, I took our son to a matinee. He was so excited, he could barely stand it. Sitting in the dark, in a big theater, watching "Winnie the Pooh" on a super huge screen. What kid wouldn't be in heaven? It was just a joy watching him take it all in.

Then, I glanced over at the mother and daughter near us. The little girl kept grabbing the arm rest and looking up at her mom when Roo or Piglet did something funny. The mom though, didn't seem to notice. She was on her iPhone. My heart sank. OK, I'm a first time mom - so, maybe, just maybe, this will all become old hat someday. And maybe, just maybe, that mom was a high power executive brokering a major merger. But, unless it was a deal for world peace, it wasn't worth it.

We all have hectic,crazy lives ... but, I think being present in our childrens' lives should be a requirement. Plus, what a joy! We need to be there for them - play with them, laugh with them, provide the firm hand, explain the rights and wrongs, notice their struggles, guide them through the challenges - or at least, provide them with the tools to make it through the challenges.

One day, my son, Will, grabbed me around the neck, kissed me and squeezed as hard as he could. Then, he looked at me and said "Mama, I love you tight." So yes, we should all hug our children tight. We also need to be there for them. Be present. It's worth it. It is so worth it.

Julia is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the mother of a preschooler. She starts writing for Go Ask Mom monthly today.



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  • KLW Dec 19, 2012 sad for that little girl who just wanted to share those funny moments in the movie with her mother. What a great bonding opportunity missed.

  • KLW Dec 19, 2012

    I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm documenting all the cute/sweet/smart things my 9-month-old daughter does for her baby book not only to preserve those memories for my husband and myself but hopefully one day she'll enjoy reading about herself as a baby. I would have missed all those moments if I was distracted by things that could wait. She won't be a baby forever, and I don't want to ever look back with regret that I was not there for her...REALLY THERE as you wrote about.

  • br549znc Dec 18, 2012

    You nailed it, Julia.

  • cgpvnp Dec 18, 2012

    People are so quick to judge. I don't like the whole cell phone addiction at all, but we have no idea who was on that phone. Maybe a babysitter for her infant, so she an her older could go to a movie together and there was an emergency? Or any number of things that needed immediate attention only a mother could give. Who knows??

  • Enough is Enough People Dec 18, 2012

    This is terrific advice. Remember you can NEVER get this time back. So be present and enjoy each moment, both good and bad.

  • kellypratz Dec 18, 2012

    I agree, I hate how technology has taken so many parents away from their children. I remember waiting for a table at Applebee's with my daughters and noticed every adult waiting all had their phones out either texting, playing games while their children sat next to them. I'm on a computer all day at work, last thing I want to do when I'm with my kids is be on the computer or my phone. I make sure to give my kids a HUG and an extra SQUEEZE!!

  • Brooklyn Dec 18, 2012

    When my children were young, I did work but I was also able to take the time for field trips, school parties and the entire weekend was spent with them. My house was not the cleanest, but my kids grew up happy and knew they were loved. Nothing is more important than spending time with your children....they grow up too fast. They are now 21 and 24....they still want to go shopping with me, etc.

  • JAT Dec 18, 2012

    my kid would have reminded me that the screen told me to turn off my cellphone during the movie. i still remember the first time both of us cried at the same point in a movie - it was a very touching moment that had nothing to do with what was on the screen.

  • t0tAlChA0s Dec 18, 2012

    I have 3 children, the oldest a teenager, it never gets old to me! I try not to ever let a moment go by that we can have a laugh together. Shame on Ms high power executive!

  • mdwrfw Dec 17, 2012

    Julia, I so agree with you. The most important thing we can give our children is our time. I hate the way electronics tend to disconnect us from our families. Put the iphone and laptop away and spend precious moments being really there.