Is it just me or does back to school time get you feeling nostalgic? Life finally slows down a little and I have time to pause and think. The kids are older, the year-end is quickly approaching and time keeps marching on. There is one thing about back to school this year though that stirred up some uneasy feelings.
I can’t tell you how many social media posts I read that went something like this, “It was just yesterday when I was dropping my son off for kindergarten and now I’m dropping him off at college!” (followed by all the sad face emojis). I’m an emotional and empathetic person by nature and reading these posts truly made my heart sad for these mamas! Then, I turned to my own children (ages 5, 2 and 9 months) and feel as if they’ll soon be spreading their wings to leave my husband and I as empty nesters. My mind is thrown into a tizzy trying to figure out ways to stretch our time together, soak up more moments and teach them all the important life lessons. I recently read in a parenting book that the authoring couple believes children are most receptive to parental influence from ages 4-14. I nearly panicked at the thought of missing a whole year of intentional teaching with my five-year-old. I vowed to be more focused in my parenting and determine a way to ensure my children have all the necessary skills to be successful adults.
It wasn’t until I was talking with a friend and sharing my concerns of missing out on my children’s lives when I realized just how backward this thinking is. My kids are preschool-aged and younger, and although, the years do roll by at an impossible pace, I am living them well with my family! My answer to the question “where has the time gone?” I have been living it! My kids’ childhood, I am here for it! During that so-called “lost year” on my impressionable five-year-old, he learned more things than I can list!
Yes, time is a thief, but I’m also making the most of every moment. Some days are extra special spent traveling or exploring but most days we’re just doing our simple routine and there is so much meaning in it. I’m worn out at the end of each day mostly because I’ve given my all to my family. It’s my hope and dream that when it’s time for my children to move to independence, that I can look back and confidently say that I lovingly and presently ushered them there. But first, we have a lot more childhood to enjoy! I don’t doubt that I’ll always long for more time with my children, but to truly live out what we do have together is one of life’s greatest gifts.
Even though I don’t have a mapped out game plan for successfully raising children into adults, I parent with purpose, compassion, love and discipline. My children are happy and healthy. They’re growing and learning. They’re loving and kind. Time surely won’t slow down for their childhood nor will there ever be enough, but I am here for it.