This morning I did something I didn’t think I’d have to do for quite some time: I went into a preschool and signed my youngest up for two days a week.
It was tough.
I saw it coming. Last year at this time I remember thinking, “Well, next year she’ll be getting ready to start school!”
And here we are.
The time has gone quickly. And what I always remember when my daughters pass a new milestone is this: Time flies. There’s no way to stop it, and those days you toss away, they are gone for good.
If I only had a few more weeks built in to make up for the days when I had to take this phone call or write this report when she was awake and wanted to play.
We always think, after the fact, that we could have spent more time with our children. Perhaps not matter how much time we spend with them we will always think this. I’m a very hands on mom, and yet I still will stop myself from time to time and think, “Did I really do enough today with my girls?”
Sometimes, during the moment when our kids are pulling on us and we are doing something else (cooking, cleaning, working) we think, “I have to get this done!”
I believe the key to knowing we are doing everything we can with our kids at the time is to stop and ask this. “Do I REALLY have to get this done NOW?” Or can it wait until the children are napping/sleeping/doing something else.
Right now I wish she had another year left with me full time. Like Erma Bombeck learned in her life, what the house looks like doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we are spending the time with the people that we love when we have the time . . . while it is here. Blink and it is gone. I’ve said that over and over, and it is so true. Blink and a year has traveled by, leaving only memories. Make sure those memories are worth it.
I recently read a great novel by Jim Kokoris called, “The Pursuit of Other Interests.” The character had spent many years working very hard to get ahead in his advertising position, and he rose to the top making great money – but in the meantime he lost out on his son’s life. It is only after getting fired that he realizes just how much he has missed.
I think about this often. How sad would it be to wake up and realize a huge chunk of our children’s time is gone and we have little interaction with them to show for it.
Luckily I learned this lesson with my first daughter. When I sent her to school two days a week I realized how quickly our time had come and gone.
No matter how much time you get, it goes too fast, whether you are staying home for twelve weeks or ten years. Remember that! Make it a point this year to stop yourself when you find you feel you have to get something done and your child is tugging on your sleeve. Stop yourself, look at the task at hand, and ask, “Can this wait five minutes?” Because if it can, you’ll be much better off spending that five minutes with the most precious thing in your life (who really wants to spend a little time with you!) and wrapping up your other task when you have some extra time.