It’s hard to believe that yet another school year concludes for our family on Friday. I’m not sure where the time goes, but I do know that it certainly seems to be moving at rapid speed.
I was waiting on my passport photos to be developed at Costco last week, when I noticed the lady next to me looking over her son’s high school graduation announcement. I could feel pain tugging at her heart so I said, “Oh, is that your handsome son? How great!” And she turned to me and said “Yes. No one tells you that one day they are going to leave you though.” And I replied, “yes they do, but we just don’t want to believe it.”
I don’t know this woman’s story and that literally was the extent of our friendly exchange, but I definitely felt regret in her words. All parents know under normal circumstances that we have approximately 18 years with our kids at home under our roof. What we choose to do with those years is up to us. That being said I am already 2/3 of the way through my major parenting journey.
I want to have no regret when it comes time for my four children to leave this nest. And most likely I will lose all of them to the real world within a year. My goal in raising them has never been about doing it perfectly but by all means raising them intentionally.
One friend was telling me her desires to go on a family vacation to Washington DC, but that All-Star baseball and other kid activities once again weren’t going to allow the time. Let me ask you something. If you knew you only had a month left with your kids, would you change your priorities? Would you choose to take that crazy vacation you’ve always wanted to instead of signing up for yet another activity? I would have to think so.
I wrote an article in the new issue of MASK (Mothers Awareness on School-Aged Kids) about our six month family sabbatical by motorhome around the United States of America. The issue is all about time and the importance of taking it while we have it.
Taking a family time out and removing yourselves from all the sports, school and even your jobs, definitely takes a lot of courage and determination. But, if we don’t take the time now to stop and enjoy one another, when our kids are young, we may just end up full of remorse when they head out the door into adulthood.
I don’t want to look at my son’s graduation announcement with any regret. Of course there will be natural sadness but that hopefully will be overshadowed with pride and excitement because we’ve all done our best. I’m here to tell you that your children will leave you one day, so you won’t be able to use the excuse that no one told you so!
Time is ticking and the time is now. Enjoy it while you’ve got it!