We have lots of wishes and hopes for our children. Wishes of great things for them in life. As parents, we also have wishes and hopes of things that will end. Now, these aren’t wishes for our children but wishes for us.
Do you hope…
- for the day you no longer have to change diapers?
- for your child to start talking so you know all their needs and wants and no longer have to guess?
- that your child could walk so you no longer have to carry them everywhere?
- for the night where your child sleeps through so you no longer have to get up and you get a full nights sleep?
- for summer to be over so the kids go back to school because they are driving you nuts!?
Do you find you are wishing your life moments away?
What happens when these wishes do come true? Because they will… will you wish for them back? I do.
Life goes by so, so fast. In a blink of an eye 20 years seems to pass. Every year I always say, “this year went by so fast, where did the time go?” This means that our babies grow quickly. There is no way of stopping this or slowing it down but you can be more present.
How to be in the Moment
Parenting is hectic and at times chaos is everywhere. So how do you slow down and live in the moment? Here are a few suggestions that I am trying to do.
- Put your phone down (I know for some of you this will be difficult)
- Watch your children play. Stop what you are doing and just watch. Listen to their cute, sweet voices, watch the way they move and ingrain this in your memory or better yet, take some pictures and video.
- Don’t say “no” as often. My kids think my only job is to play with them 24/7. Prioritize what is most important at that time. Does folding the laundry outweigh playing with your children? Some days it may but not all the time.
- When they want to talk to you listen. Clear your mind and focus on what they are saying. One day they may not want to talk.
One day five years ago, I was sitting in a parking lot waiting to go into work. I was listening to the radio and the DJ read a poem. It was about never knowing when it will be your child’s last time of doing something. I started sobbing. At the time my daughter was 4 years old and some of the things in the poem I had experienced.
The poem was Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury. It will tug at your heart strings. Grab a box of tissues before you start reading it. I cry, no I sob, every time I read it.
I do hope the poem helps you to slow down a bit and enjoy every season of your child’s life, no matter how difficult that time may be for you. You can never go back and redo it so embrace all that it is and enjoy it!
Let Me Hold You Longer
by Karen Kingsbury
Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts:
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away
and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts . . .
The last time that I held a bottle
to your baby lips.
The last time that I lifted you
and held you on my hip.
The last night when you woke up crying,
needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket,
wanting to be rocked.
The last time when you ran to me,
still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you’d marry
me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and
bright flashes from your past –
Would I have held on longer if
I’d known they were your last?
Our last adventure to the park,
your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite
faded baseball cap.
Your last few hours of kindergarten,
those last days of first grade.
Your last at bat in Little League,
last colored picture made.
I never said good-bye to all
your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow – will I recognize your lasts?
The last time that you catch a frog
in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot
across our fresh-cut lawn.
Silly, scattered images
will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures,
never quite sure of your lasts . . .
The last time that I comb your hair
or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you
and tuck you in at night.
The last time when we cuddle
with a book, just me and you.
The last time you jump in our bed
and sleep between us two.
The last piano lesson,
last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school
last soccer goal you make.
I look ahead and dream of days
that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss
today’s sweet, precious lasts . . .
The last time that I help you with
a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that yes,
your room is still a mess.
The last time that you need me for
a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night
with your old tattered bear.
My life keeps moving faster,
stealing precious days that pass.
I want to hold on longer – want to recognize your lasts . . .
The last time that you need my help
with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for
advice about romance.
The last time that you talk to me
about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey
for your high school team.
I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed
seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time,
I’d hold on to your lasts.
For come some bright fall morning, you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon
in a brilliant sort of way.
One last hug, one last good-bye,
one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand
just how much you’ll be missed.
I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer,
God, to every precious last.
Wipe away those tears and go hold your child. I would love to hear how this poem touches you. Please leave a comment.