Time: we can never reverse it. We will never slow it down. We will never get it back. We can only learn to embrace it.
Some days I find myself wishing I could go back in time, keep my children little forever, but I know, in reality, I can not do that.
It’s terrifying to think that my children will grow up and go off in this great big world without me someday. They will be faced with challenges, both good and bad, and I will not always be there to steer them in the right direction. That’s why my job right now–while they are little–is so important. It leaves a lot of unanswered questions for me as a parent: how will I teach them every right from wrong? How will I bring them back from failure and let them know it’s ok? How will I react when they lean on me for support? Will I be their first call when they are in trouble?
My duty to my children now is to teach them, love them, and grow them into responsible people. To the best of my ability I will teach them right from wrong. I will be there every step of the way when they reach out to me, and I’ll always listen without judgement. I may not always be there physically for them, but my hope is that I will be only a phone call away or a memory in the back of their mind. When they are in trouble, I want them to reach for me, not fear my reaction. I want them to trust me, not keep secrets from me. All of these thoughts flood my mind at night when it’s quiet and my family is peacefully sleeping. The slow, quiet times allow my brain the settle and my heart to wander and think about all these possibilities.
See the Future
The other day, I sat down next to a complete stranger. As she watched my children playing in front of us she turned to me and said, “Cherish these days because I find myself missing my small children often and all I have now are the memories we had. This time with them just goes too fast.” I agreed with her saying that I couldn’t believe that four years had already gone by since I had my first. I told her they sure keep me on my toes though! I could sense that she could see the tired in my eyes. She replied, “Like blinking an eye, the older we get the faster it goes. This too shall pass.” I hear this a lot. I heard it from my grandmother, my parents, and now from myself. Why does it seem like that? Time moves so quickly and if you don’t sit still long enough to recognize that, little moments will escape you every day. The time trap of raising little ones is something that escapes us quickly. When we are right there in it, it can be so hard, isolating and repetitive. What we aren’t thinking about often is the bigger picture. What will life look like after this season? Look ahead. See the future. Noticing it’s realization and embracing the now, for that future is never guaranteed.
As I glanced over at the older woman’s face, I noticed the wrinkles around her eyes. I couldn’t help but smile and think that those wrinkles represent a lot of happy times spent with her family–raising them, teaching them, and laughing with them. Her eyes grew brighter the longer she watched the kids play. I hope she knows how much she touched me that day. There was just something so calming and clear about her voice. She told me exactly what I needed to hear in that very moment. It was really quite magical.
One of my commitments to myself and my family this year was to make an effort to be present. I owe that to myself, but more importantly, I owe it to my children. I want them to know they come first. Before anyone else or anything else. As I travel through each season with my family, I want them to always be reminded of how important they are to me. No matter what, I’ll always be there cheering them on and helping them out in any way I possibly can.