It’s funny. We think about all of the things that we will do when our children are born. Rock them, hold them, sing to them, enjoy every minute of them. Not much time passes before we begin looking to the future when we start thinking “When the kids are older, I’ll be able to…” and it’s only when those moments have passed that we realized that we have missed them.
I was talking to my mom the other day and I said “When all of the kids are about two years older, it will be so easy to go anywhere!” to which she responded: “I always said that, too. ‘When the kids are out of diapers, things will be so much easier. When they are done with preschool, I’ll be able to start saving our money. When the kids are in elementary school, I’ll have so much more time. When the kids are older, I’ll be able to… but there is always something else. Enjoy them now.”
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Our conversation was convicting, because I have those same thoughts. Then, the very next day, I received a comment on my blog post “Mommy, Will you lay with me?” that was from a mother that had lost her child when he was five years old. Five years old. I can’t imagine- my heart breaks for her. She wrote that she wishes she had those moments back and how important it is to appreciate the moment that you are in with your child.
Both of these conversations had me thinking that there is always going to be something else, something that we want, but we can’t let that stop us from taking advantage of this time… today. We can’t just let these days pass idly by, while we wait for our kids to get older.
But the passing of time is like a double-edged sword.
- I’m no longer waking up to feed babies at night, yet I can’t fall asleep easily at night, as I look at the clock hoping I can fall asleep soon thinking “If I fall asleep right now, I’ll still get ____ hours of sleep.”
- I’m no longer carrying a baby around in a carrier strapped to my body, but now I have to remind my kids to stop playing to come hug their mom.
- I’m no longer rocking someone to sleep, but I miss the way that they looked at me longingly while trying to keep their heavy eyelids open, just to look at mom for a minute longer.
- I’m no longer planning my days around naptimes, yet I miss the days of lazy afternoons.
The day will come when my words change from “When our kids are older, we’ll be able to” to “When our kids were younger, we were able to…”
I don’t want to have to regret any of these moments with our kids. I want to know that I used this time wisely. I want to know that I enjoyed every minute that I could, that I taught them all of those life-lessons that come from conversations, that I demonstrated examples of how to be caring & responsible.
Play that board game, build those puzzles, read those books, or take that vacation that you’ve been putting off.
Remember that even if things don’t go as planned, you took this time for your family and they will be better because of it. You stepped out of your comfort zone to embrace this moment and enjoy this moment. Don’t put your life on hold– enjoy today. No, we can’t predict the future, but we are in control of how we spend our time now.
When I was younger, my mom sang this song to me… and I now sing it to my own children:
“Que Sera Sera.
Whatever will be, will be.
The future’s not ours to see.
Que Sera Sera… what will be, will be.”
Aren’t those wise words? Que Sera Sera. The future’s not ours to see. All that we have is the present.
As parents, we have the power to teach your children and shape their character and their world. How are you going to do that today?
- Play with them (don’t just watch)
- Speak words that will impact them
- Talk to them and listen with an open heart.
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