Let me pause from theological reflections to reflect on some personal matters, if you will allow me.
I was in a meeting one time where my coworkers and I were sharing our stories with one another. One of my friends in the room told her story and mentioned that she had spent much of her life looking forward to the next stage. When in middle school, she couldn’t wait to be in high school. When in high school she couldn’t wait to be in college. And when in college, she couldn’t wait to be married and working. You get the idea here. I’ve thought about that and in many ways realized it describes me too. I guess it describes a lot of folks and that is why we get cliche statements like “Live in the moment!” I hate cliches, but I get it.
The past couple of weeks have been trying as parents of young children. We haven’t slept a whole lot, the kids are acting like toddlers (imagine that!), and we are tired. It is easy for me to keep looking to the next stage. “I can’t wait until they can feed themselves!” “I can’t wait until they can go to the bathroom by themselves and bathe themselves!” “I can’t wait until they can wake up without waking me up!” “I can’t wait…”, you get the idea.
So last night we were flipping through old pictures on our computer. We started finding old videos and pictures from the last 2 years, and it didn’t take long to tear up and realize how fast this was all going. Our “big boy” who is 4 was just a baby last year in these videos, and as I look at him now, he is still just our baby. Our 2 year old is changing monthly. And then our 9 month old wasn’t even in most of these pictures! It’s so easy to hear the wisdom of those who have gone ahead of you and just shrug it off. But I think you have to make yourself physically and mentally stop to hear what they are saying. When the parent of a senior in high school tells me to cherish these moments and don’t rush them, I really want to take that to heart.
I guess I’m just trying to say to other young parents, let’s not ignore the wisdom of our peers who are just a little ahead of us in life, or the wisdom of the empty nesters and grandparents who say these are still some of their best memories in life. Let’s physically and mentally stop to live in the moment with these kids. Even when we’re tired, even when they’re in our room at 4AM AGAIN, even when they won’t eat their food AGAIN, even when they’re fighting AGAIN…I don’t want to rush through this. These years are flying by, and I want to soak up each minute of them with great joy.
Okay, back to theology next time 🙂