or Connect
Mothering › Child Articles › Will You Gaze Lovingly At Your Kids Tonight?

Will You Gaze Lovingly At Your Kids Tonight?

Gretchen Rubin, a New York City based writer and author of The Happiness Project, and her husband have a very sweet tradition.

Every once in awhile after they’ve put their two daughters to bed, Rubin’s husband says to her, “Come on, let’s go gaze lovingly.”

They tiptoe. Jamie slings an arm around Gretchen’s shoulder. They stand for a moment together and gaze lovingly as their daughters are quietly sleeping.

These days my 11-year-old is going to bed later than I am. When we open the door to our room we invariably wake the baby, who’s a light sleeper. But just thinking about this idea makes my heart ache with how sweet and right it sounds.

Tonight James and I have a date: to gaze lovingly.

Do you have a sweet tradition in your family that helps you remember how much you love your children?

Bookmark and Share

Tags: family, gazing lovingly, Gretchen Rubin, Happiness Project

Comments (15)

DH and I definitely lovingly gaze! How can we not? We have a beautiful DD that we are grateful for everyday and she is so cute!
Lots of gazing lovingly when they're little, of course. But I peek in on my pre-teen in all his sleepy glory on occasion and still marvel at how gorgeous he is. And during a recent bout of acute illness I found myself keeping watch (which is more fraught than gazing lovingly) but equally powerful.
I love watching my daughter sleep. I tell her that I kiss her every night while she's asleep, and I do. When I look at her sleeping, I only see her goodness, and I try to remember that goodness when she's awake and, well, you know.
Long after the kids fall asleep, Dan and I sneak in their rooms and pull the covers up on top of them and plant a few kisses on their foreheads.
Given the amount of attention devoted to the difficult moments of being a parent on blogs and websites, it's really nice to see writers like Jennifer remind us of ways to realize how lucky we are to have kids. We don't have a tradition per se, but rather find moments when it hits us - like when we pick up our 11-year-old daughter after school. There is something special about watching her come to the car with a smile on her face -- it tells us that she enjoys her life when she's away from us and also (still) looks forward to spending time with us. We can't help but gaze as she approaches the car!
I used to do this with my youngest daughter, something about her being my last baby.
Now that my kids are in their twenties, I try to "gaze lovingly" at them when they call on the phone--I try to put down whatever else I'm doing or thinking about and just pay attention to them! It's easy to forget--I have to remind myself--but the conversation is so different from the times when I'm looking at my computer or thinking about something else while I listen!
Sounds like a wonderful tradition! I'd love to do that someday when I'm a parent.
I must say, I DO gaze lovingly at my kids and husband every day. I just feel so lucky and blessed to have them in my life. And the kids are a great distraction from all the stress and turmoil in this world! I don't know what I'd do without them to keep me from worrying all the time. And that doesn't even consider my worries ABOUT them. I'd much rather worry about them than everything else. I'm really making a lot of sense here, aren't it? :-)
My children are grown now, so I don't get to see them every day. My best "gazing" time is to see them with others and just watch how they've grown into beautiful young adults. Last weekend my husband's cousin came to visit and we all went out to dinner. Watching my children interact with her made me so proud of who they've become.
I love cosleeping with my kids - even the older ones - because of how it gives me a chance to gaze lovingly at them and enables us to just sort of bask in each other's presence at the end of every day. It's a very healing and calming, centering ritual that I could not do without and I'm glad for this reminder of the value of doing so. I love Gretchen Rubin's book!
For years and years, after my children were asleep in their rooms upstairs, I'd go in and gaze lovingly at them, always shocked at how beautiful and peaceful they looked when they were asleep. No matter how big they got, I could not end my evening without doing this and of course, bending down to plant a kiss on their foreheads.
Aw - sweet! And one needn't wait until a child or loved one goes to sleep, either. It always feels good to show the love, give the love and receive it.
When my children were young, I always checked in on them right before going to bed myself. I'd gaze lovingly at them, or when they were infants, listen for signs that they were actually breathing. There's something so innocent about children when they are asleep, even when they are teenagers and beyond.
What a beautiful idea. We have a Sunday night snuggle around here. I tuck each of my kids in bed and then just snuggle them, sometimes we talk, sometimes I just hug them.
Mothering › Child Articles › Will You Gaze Lovingly At Your Kids Tonight?