With the sudden expansion of our household, I’m reminded of the days long ago when my own youngsters were under my care. The picture at left shows my four with my parents. It was probably taken about 1984.
It seems such a short while ago! And yet each of these delightful little ones has grown into adulthood and three of the four have children of their own. The silly boy sitting between my parents is the adult whose family is now living with us, and he was close to the current age of his son, our grandson. My dad has entered into Rest and my mom will celebrate (God willing) her 88th birthday in August.
Like many parents, I always entertained good intentions to (1) spend more time loving on my kids, (2) take more time with each of them individually, and (3) devote additional time doing things with them that they passionately enjoyed. Oh, I succeeded occasionally. (In hindsight, not nearly as much as I’d have liked.) But there were many times that the urgencies of life intruded and they didn’t receive my undivided attention.
All too often, I was beguiled by the mistaken belief I’d have more time … eventually. The sonnet below gives a hint of my sorrow believing that I had endless tomorrows. I didn’t and it goes without saying, no one else does either.
Yes, it can be argued that (in the real world as opposed to the ideal world) children can’t expect Mom and Dad to give them “undivided attention.” It’s unrealistic! Perhaps one could even argue having two hovering parents gives children a warped view of the world … a world that doesn’t revolve around them (now or ever). I’m not really advocating that I should have been (or could have been) that kind of mom.
I just know there were too many moments I let slip away.
Today (and in coming days), as I enjoy the company of my grandson-in-residence, I’m reminded of when his daddy was little. (They have many traits in common.) It is an extra blessing to remember the moments these thirty years later. I treasured the moments then, but realize now how really priceless and fleeting they were.