Thursday, September 8, 2011
The "Too" Moments
It's 11:30 pm...I can't sleep....so I have decided to write. Ten minutes have passed and I've got nothing. I have a blank screen in front of me. It seems I also have a blank mind. I could write about how I miss the sounds of Jill's laughter echoing in my house, or Jordan begging me to play a game with him, or Gina bossing her siblings around and playing school with them. I could share how I especially miss the family meals around the table and taking my children to Sunday school and church. I still remember all of the words to the Sunday School songs I taught them, but I'm beginning to forget the sounds of their little voices singing them. I could write about how I miss arguing with them about what they can and can't wear to school. Why didn't I just let them have a little freedom? Why was everything a big deal? Why didn't I pause to look at them closer and take in every curl, dimple and smell of their childhood?
I remember saying....why don't you just grow up! Or...quit being a baby! So they did....
Every day, working at the school, I see parents so busy they don't see what is right there in front of them. They raise their children, not understanding that some day they will belong to someone else. Parents who frantically toss their children in front of television sets or video games so they can gain a few moments peace, but in the process, lose them to a world that robs them of their innocence and pushes them to grow up too fast. Parents who don't have time to teach values and manners to their children because it's just too hard and takes far too much time. Parents who love their children enough to buy them telephones and televisions in elementary school....but have no time to gather them on their laps and read a book to them. No time to teach them nursery rhymes, or take them to church.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not bashing the parents of today...they have soooo much on their plates. But I want to scream at them....SLOW DOWN! You're missing out! When your children are three....you think you'll have them with you forever...you think you'll have more time with them later....but you don't!
I remember telling them to hop down off of my lap because I was too hot and sweaty to hold them....how I wish I had those moments to do over.
You see, time has a way of subtly stealing the things that are most precious and dear away from you. And those special moments are gifts to us. But they only last two seconds. I like to call them the "too" moments, because TOO often, we miss them because we are TOO busy, TOO tired, or TOO grouchy!
We don't get "Do overs" with children. God loans them to us for a few years, and then we are left with an adult child, modeling the life he/her saw demonstrated to them in our lives.
Listen to me, parents. The best way you can love your child is to raise him to become adults that others will love and respect. Do you let them back talk you? Do you give them everything they want or let them do everything they want? Or do you help them to understand that there are consequences to their actions? Even though it may hurt you to discipline them... it will help them to become well loved and respected adults.
I've made lots of mistake raising my children...but the biggest error was not slowing down and loving them in the moments. I long for them to be little again so I can take back harsh, unloving words that I shouted at them, cutting through their little hearts. Rash words that flew out of my mouth before I could take them back. I'd give anything to take back my impatience...while their little hands tried to put on shoes quickly enough to suit me....or pick up toys just the way I demanded it. I long to kiss away little tears that I had caused because of my own selfishness. I long to walk into there bedrooms while they are sleeping and just gaze at them for an hour.
Yes, I could write about all the flowers I could have stopped and smelled...and how many picnics and stories I could have shared...about listening to the laughter and pausing for the smiles....and pondering at the wonder in their eyes....and kissing away the tears.....but....it makes me too sad.....and too lonely....and too bittersweet........................so, I won't.