Throughout our lives, there are places that we visit that resonate with us more than others. Maybe it’s the scenery, the culture and history, the food and drink, or the people you meet along the way.
For me, this place is Cyprus but until this summer I couldn't quite put my finger on the main reason why I love it so much. Of course, my heart will always be there as we have so many friends and family who live there, however each time I visit Cyprus I leave feeling humbled and very reflective on just how different their way of life can be.
As I spend many moments being welcomed into so many peoples homes I see just how important family is to them. A greek family always creates opportunities for quality time and it is these special moments and memories that are the outcome.
Quality family time is one of the most important elements in a child’s life. In this day and age it is becoming increasingly hard to ensure we provide enough of this. I for one am very aware that we all lead busy lives. When I am not working in the day, I am generally working into the early hours and then there's the running around after the children and trying to keep up with the daily routine of being a parent…or simply just taking a moment to be me. There will always be something that gets in the way, but nonetheless, every family should make time for something which is so important.
I didn’t grow up in a particularly big family and as the years went on not everybody in my family was especially close. When I met my husband however, this all changed and I found myself being welcomed into a huge family that spanned across several continents. Even after 13 years there are still many people that I have yet to meet, however, they are spoken of so fondly it is as if I know them already.
This summer we have been lucky enough to spend real quality time as a family as well as other family members that we don't see as often. It has always been important for my husband and I to raise our girls to know who they are as this is deeply rooted to where they came from and these opportunities to spend time with each other provide them with a first hand insight to learn, embrace and celebrate all of this.
My girls are so lucky as they have such a vast amount of love, opportunities and people in their lives with so much to offer them. All their grandparents have been there since they were born and have showered them with love, support and guidance to which we will always be grateful for. They also have two cultures to embrace with family spread across different countries and as they have got older the bonds growing with their loved ones in Cyprus is just wonderful to see.
Watching all the little cousins over the years interact as they have grown is just heart warming. Each year their ability to communicate has developed as the children in Cyprus learn English and our girls learn Greek. The girls also meet so many different people. They visit places that have so much history connected to family members on the island and they experience new things each time we visit.
As the years go on and children get older family time becomes even harder. Social media is at it’s prime and it is snatching away these valuable years. Most children now have tablets, smart phones and social media accounts and spend many hours with their heads in them or playing computer games.
My Summer has reminded me to claim back family time.
Spending time as a family effects almost every aspect of a child’s life and helps mould them into the adults they will eventually become. You don’t need to go on holiday or do anything fancy to achieve the same outcome. The reward is the same.
An ancient Greek philosopher once said, “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”
So make sure you are spending your most valuable resource - your time - on your family.