As parents our days can belong. Dreadfully long when the kids are young.
It’s not until we catch a glimpse of our teens, like toddlers in an old photo, that the passing of time stops us in our tracks.
At that moment we’re reminded that our children really are racing toward childhood’s finish line and they will soon cross over into adulthood.
Why are we speeding through life so fast that it takes a Facebook reminder from years past to bring us to the realization that our kids really are growing up right before our eyes?
As parents our days can be long, but the years are definitely short.
We wanted babies. We wanted a fun and connected family. But ever since our bundles of joy arrived, we’ve struggled to keep up with their daily demands. We race through life without even putting much thought into what we’re doing or why we’re even doing it in the first place.
We must slow down.
In Arizona, photo radar cameras wait to catch speeding offenders in my neighborhood. There is a sign to warn us that the camera is ahead, but sometimes our distracted selves only pay attention after the flash goes off in our face and we’ve been caught racing through life again.
It’s only when we get caught that we realize we missed the warning sign and speeding toward our destination will now cost us.
Pretend that this blog post is that yellow warning sign for you. It’s a friendly reminder to slow the heck down because just ahead your child will be turning 18. He will soon head out the door into the real world and parenting as you know it will be over.
And just like I don’t want to see you get that speeding ticket in the mail, I don’t want you to get to your firstborn’s high school graduation and wonder how it all went so fast. Before speeding, even if it’s 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, you should be well aware of the possible consequences of speeding and know your legal options if caught by a local patrol car.
Everyday distractions keep us from focusing on what’s really important in our families. None of us want to get to the end of this full-time parenting gig and say, I should’ve been more present. Or I should’ve made better choices and decisions to create moments with my child while I had the chance.
We only get one opportunity to cultivate a childhood, so we must slow down and make the most of the time we have left. Decide today to plan out what you want for your family this year and then the next and then the one after that. Don’t speed through life without an intentional destination or it may just cost you.
Parents our days are long, but they aren’t long enough.