“Oh the miles we logged.” says Hub Cap Smiley.
As my children became older and my responsibility to drive them to more and more places shifted from after school hours to evening ones, many people joked that I’d surely be glad when they were old enough to drive and I no longer had to be on the road late at night.
How far off the mark those predictions were! As each child got their driver’s license I deeply missed the intimate late night drives. It had always been a joy for me to sit and hear them tell me the details of their day. There’s something especially nice about being with just one child, in a dark car…they open up in way not experienced any other place.
Now those years are over; all my kids are in college. What I wouldn’t give to be the one to pick them up late at night, and to once again hear the details of their day.
Even the most mundane of tasks, even those which you hurry through and feel annoyed about, guess what? That’s their childhood. You, not the kids, choose how you spend the time you have together. So what if it’s just the nightly bath or the daily homework or the ride to soccer practice. If you’re not present (like you’re on your cell phone), you miss it and they miss you! Everyday you are making the memories that define their childhood. It takes such a small effort to be present for them. Walking to school chatting is such a richer experience than walking to school with a parent who is distracted, in a hurry, irritated, etc.
Don’t forget to savor the moments of today. You do not ever get to have today’s moments again. Someday those wonderful kids who now delight you, exhaust you, drive you crazy, make your heart beat with love and with worry and who adore you every moment, will leave the nest. Never miss the opportunity to enjoy them and let them enjoy you.
You just can’t love them too much! Pay attention!
Smile. Be Happy. Ruth