My children are growing up too darn fast for me, right before my eyes. I don't like it, never have. This morning, at 4:45 a.m. John and I dropped our oldest son off to venture to Boy Scout camp. He will be gone for 6 days. As I sat in the van while John and Hunter gathered around the circle of boys at The Home Depot (where they all met before they left) I got a lump in my throat because of the reality of what hit me. My son is growing up. There's nothing I can do about it, and I had better get used to it. Except that I don't want to get used to it. I keep telling my children to stop growing, but they simply won't listen to me. They just laugh, and think I'm silly.
As we drove away from the parking lot, where I have left my boy in the hands of well trained leaders, I say a little prayer in my heart for Hunter that he will be okay, that he will pray when he needs help, that he'll be a good example, remember who he is, and to be respectful to his leaders. I prayed that he will remember all that we've taught him these nearly 12 years, and to put those principles to action if/when the time arises. This, I say to myself, is a defining moment for ME, to find out if what we've tried to teach him all these years, if he will apply them in HIS OWN LIFE.
Well, since I was already being an emotional sap about all this, I decided it was long over due for me to write in my children's journal. I decided when Hunter was 3 years old, to start a journal, for all my children. I had high ambitions when I started. Had only two children at the time, John worked for someone else, which made life much easier back then, and we were in a new home. I labeled in their journals that the book was Volume 1. At the rate I'm going now, they will probably only have one volume. I always say I need to be better about writing, but I let life get in the way, unfortunately. I need to remember though, that I need to write their life down. It's theraputic for me.
Today, I did something I hadn't done in quite a long time. I re-read their journal, and boy, it was like rewinding their lives and living it all over again. THAT is why I love keeping a journal for them. Let me just share with you a few glimpses in the life of my son, Josh. Both these excerpts come from the same journal entry of July 17, 2005. I had just written not too long after his great grandpa had passed away.
"Josh: Mama, I had a dream about grandpa.
Me: You did? What was it about?
Josh: He's all better now.
Me: That's right, he is. Where is grandpa?
Josh: In heaven.
Me: Who's with him?
"I can't tell you how wonderful it was to hear of your sweet, tender dream. It made me cry. Also, the other day, you proposed to me. You asked me if I wanted to get married, and when I asked to who, you said, "Me!" That gave me the biggest grin. I asked you where we were going to get married, and you said in the temple, and that I would have flowers. I asked you who was going to perform the ceremony and you said, "Pres. Bush." I laughed it was so cute."
I had forgotten all about those exchanges between Josh and I, but how grateful I am that I was smart enough at the time to write it down. I know there have been many other instances where my children have said things that I should have documented, and I regret not doing it when the memory is still fresh. But I am so grateful to have these precious memories of Josh and I, and many more with all my children that I have written down.
I haven't decided yet when I will give my children their journals. I've thought of giving it to them at significant birthdays, like 12, 15 and 18, we shall see. And I've thought that I should probably make copies for me to have. But for now, I treasure the time I do take, to reflect on the ever shrinking time I have with my children.
I remember well the day when Hunter was a newborn, when I looked at him and thought to myself, "What will you be like Hunter, when you are 12, in the year 2011." It seemed so far away at the time, and look where we are now? Where has all the time gone? I don't even want to think about 12 years from now. I need to think about the present, and enjoy each and every minute I have with these beautiful souls that have been entrusted in my care.