I’ve been doing this parenting thing for nearly twelve years. Raising these three little people has been one of the greatest joys of my lifetime. From the moment they came home from the hospital, I’ve anticipated each milestone, celebrated each achievement and watched them grow into the incredible little people that they are. But, I’m done now.
I’m done with milestones, achievements, growth spurts, transitions into the next stage. I’m ready just to freeze time and camp out here for awhile… It’s all just passing by too quickly for my liking. I feel like the clock is ticking, the grains of sand are dwindling, and the moments are vanishing…
What? I’m slightly dramatic? Maybe just a touch.
BUT SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, these kids are eleven, seven, and four- they are practically ADULTS and I’m not a fan.
It all hit me the other day as my daughter and I were discussing the looming summer and her passing into sixth grade. SIXTH GRADE!!! We both decided this was not cool and I began googling child cryogenic freezing with the hope of preserving these precious childhood moments a bit longer. Seemed a little pricey for our budget, so I’ve been contemplating some other, more practical solutions for our dilemma and I thought you might be interested in my two-step plan to slow down my children’s rapidly progressing childhood.
STEP ONE: Quantity and Quality Balance
I’m not sure if you’re like me, but I often get caught in the mental battle of wanting to create really special moments for my kids. I have grand ideas of creativity and smiles and storybook moments. It’s not that these moments never happen, but even when they do, they don’t always have that Instagram glow that they do in my mind, Most likely because they are actual humans and not robots- they cry, whine and here’s the real kicker, I’m human too. I get irritated from time to time when my perfect plan doesn’t go my way. (Control issues?) It’s not that I’m giving these moments up, but I’m learning to balance them with the everyday, simple ones. The five minutes of working with my little T-Ball pro on how to bat. The short drive on the way to school. Last year we implemented the “question of the day” on the drive to school. We take turns coming up with the random question and the conversations are quite fun. The really weird thing is these simple, short bursts of time and shared experience seem to add up to some really fun connection.
STEP TWO: Tell Them Now
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the written word. Such an honor to be surrounded by fantastic writers and given the platform to share my life with y’all. I mostly love them because they last. They don’t fade. My thoughts and heart about how much I love the way my middle son comes into our bed each morning for a snuggle, or my daughter takes such great responsibility with her school work, or how my four-year old has a way with women that truly frightens me- these thoughts can be captured and written and last forever. So I’ve begun to write letters. Every few months, letters to my kids about why I love them RIGHT NOW. What I see in them. What I think about them. How crazy they make me. How I can’t imagine my life without them. I pray these words are gifts that they carry throughout life and turn to, when they want to remember how it was. Who knows, they could also be incriminating evidence as they sit on the couch in their shrink’s office.
That’s it. Two steps. Got any to ad??