Long title, I know, but it's exactly how I feel. The older we get, time seems to pass us by more quickly. And with that, the growing up of my children seems to pass by me at 75 miles an hour when I'm moving along at 55, or, some days it seems like I'm going 30. Yet they never slow down, keeping up the pace with the rest of the world as I sit along the sidelines hoping I can keep up with them. It's a losing battle, I've decided. I might as well enjoy the ride while it lasts, right?
Hunter turns 12 next Friday. It's a monumental birthday in our family. And I won't even be with him to celebrate it. He will be in California with his dad and brother, attending their cousin's wedding, ON is birthday. Poor guy. I feel badly that he'll be spending his day watching a bride and groom eat their cake smothered in frosting which he detests, while he'll have to wait to come home to have his frostingless cake to enjoy. (But, his dad was going, and on this special birthday, which is very important for the male in our church and family, I didn't want his dad to be away from him. So it's an all boys weekend at a girly wedding..... could be worse, right? Or maybe not).
But as I reminisce about his sister before him who died, his own growing up years to this point, and the 3 children that followed, I realize that time is just flying by at a pace I cannot keep up with. I've got my married/family life in 3 stages, I've determined. The first 2 1/2 years were dedicated to buying the worst house in Utah, remodeling it, giving birth to our first child who later passed away, and then selling our home to move to Oregon. The next 6 years were dedicated to building a brand new home, giving birth to 3 more children, then selling that house, the NEW AND FINISHED house. These last 6 1/2 years have been devoted to buying the home I grew up in, gutting it and remodeling it..... still, and having one more child. I'm done buying homes, and having children. (But unfortunately, not done remodeling).
I don't want my memories to be filled with what paint color we chose, what kind of flooring to install, or how dinner tasted like dust from drywall. I want my memories to be filled with my children and the lives they are living. I suppose it's all about prioritizing MY time to make sure I am spending that time on and for my children.
It's easy, being self employed, to get wrapped up in the business. Or to have an assignment at church that, if we let it, takes a lot of time away from family. And it's easy to stick your child in every activity known to man, so they are getting all wonderful experiences that school, sports and the arts have to offer. But in the midst of work, church, school and extra curricular activities, where is family time fitting in? Am I making enough valuable time with my children so they will have fond memories of their growing up years?
Some would say quality time is better than quantity. For me, and this is JUST ME speaking, it's the quantity of time that I want more of. Do I have any grand ideas on how to do that? Not really. Maybe just recognizing the fact that my children NEED more quantity time with their parents and siblings is a start. One of my favorite quotes from a prominent church leader (can't remember the name, might be Thomas S. Monson) said, when we see our Heavenly Father and make an accounting of our time on earth, he doubts we will say that we wished we would have spent more time at the office, than with our family. That is exactly how I feel.
So I really don't have any exciting things to tell you about how to fix the problem. Maybe some of you have some great ideas you'd like to share. I'm all ears. But for now, I think I need to slow down a bit, make my children slow down, as much as they don't want to, and take every opportunity to be with them when I can, and enjoy the moment while it lasts. 'Cause Father Time ain't gonna slow down, that I am certain.