I don’t know about you, but my summer has flown by in a nanosecond. The days have blended into one quick blur. I don’t know if the speed with which time flies has increased because I have grown older or because my children have grown older.
When my babies were babies, we marked time in months, then by the school year. That calendar was the driving force behind everything our family did – playdates, sports, birthdays, vacations. As summer comes to an end and a new school year starts, I am feeling a bit unfettered by that calendar as my two oldest children have embarked on their college careers and my 16-year-old, now thrust into the position of “only” child, relies on my husband or me less and less.
“Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end…”
As a new mother I was often told, “Appreciate this time with your children, they’re only little for a short time.” In the rush of the day-to-day (remember that calendar?), it’s hard to always be present and let the days unfold slowly and deliberately. Looking back now, I am sure I should have let that happen more often.
I did make room for days that weren’t pre-planned. I let my children figure out if they wanted to play LEGOs or read a book or run and play in the yard. I can remember the 45 minutes it took to bundle up each of them to play in the snow only to have them decide it was too cold and spend another 20 minutes freeing them from scarves, mittens, and snow pants. I can remember teaching them how to ride their bikes. I can remember the marathon Monopoly game that lasted a whole week because we would play for a couple of hours at a time, go do something else, and then come back to it. No one won, and that was ok.
I see my job as a parent as growing good people who will go out into the world full of happiness, empathy, knowledge, and with a desire to be good and do good. I think I’ve been able to do that with the help of family, friends, and teachers. Raising children is hard. And all these wonderful memories I have to look back on help me realize the importance of a childhood.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…- Dr. Seuss
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