A Gift of the Present
The difficulty in writing about parenting while my children are still young (as in, while still in the midst of parenting) is, well, the difficulty. It’s not for lack of material that I so often fail to write. To the contrary, so much comes up on a daily basis that I find myself wishing I could somehow remember it all or write it all down (and hoping that somewhere, somehow, all this is being recorded by Someone who is better at it than me). In short, I miss ever so much. The days pass so quickly. We’re already weeks into summer vacation, a summer in which I had been hoping to do some extra writing. Not only blogging about parenting, but making progress in some of my long-term writing projects (a.k.a. books). But as I messaged to a friend on Facebook the other day, my kids are only young once and I know if I don’t make them my priority this summer, the months will pass by all too quickly and I’ll regret not having made the most of the time I had. Come September, my youngest will be starting school. For the first time since my husband and I welcomed our daughter into the world, nearly ten years ago, I won’t have one or the other of my kids with me for a majority of the day. I can’t exactly wrap my brain around it. Of course, when the time comes, I’ll be too busy to spend much thought on it. Between my continuing education and two separate teaching opportunities, once the school year begins, I’ll be spending almost more time in the classroom than my own children. In short, life is not going to get any less busy and I can’t count on sometime next month or next year to make the most of life. But I have now. Today. Not even tomorrow is a guarantee, but today is a gift waiting to be unwrapped. That’s why they call it the “present.” In my case, it really is a gift. God help me understand that. I know there are many mothers and fathers who don’t get the luxury of spending the summer with their children. Even if I do have work-from-home duties on the side (and sometimes deadlines bring them closer to center stage) I still have the majority of every day this summer to tune into my kids. And it’s making a difference. After only a couple of weeks consciously making “motherhood” my main focus, I can see a change in each one of the children. I find myself understanding them better — their feelings or fears or where they’re coming from even when they’re complaining why they “can’t” do something or another. This change (in myself? my kids?) simultaneously encourages me and frightens me. I’ve read that love, to a child, is spelled “t-i-m-e”. And every child will take all the love and time that he or she can get. I don’t have an endless supply of either. I wish I did. Pretty much every day, numerous times in the day, I wish I had more of one or the other. But at the same time, I don’t make the most of the time that I do have. I so easily let the moments pass by. Moments that transform into minutes, then hours … and pretty soon another day has passed. Another week. What’s the solution? Perhaps it’s one of perspective. Seeing each moment as one that will never return again. Each stage of a child’s life. Each moment of brilliant insight that they share with us. Even each argument with a sibling or testy response when asked to do a chore. It’s an opportunity to understand more about them, and help them understand more about life — the good and the bad, the crazy and ugly and beautiful all wrapped up together in a messy package. The package that dawns bright and colorful, that sets with the beauty of every memory captured and held inside the heart of parent and child. The package called today.
Posted on June 19, 2014, in Perception, Summer Days, Uncategorized and tagged gift of a day, gift of the present, making the most of every moment, summer days with kids. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.