It is Friday…Choose to be present this weekend!
Friday is here again! Brad and I are heading to watch 3 of our 4 run at indoor college track and field conference meets this weekend. We will be driving tonight to one, and then head another 6 hours to watch the other two run on Saturday night. We are excited, kind of a little get away, with the bonus of cheering on our college runners. Whenever I stay in a hotel and someone else makes the bed, I feel like I am on vacation!
For a moment I questioned whether I really felt like going this weekend, but only for a moment. The years have flown past quickly, and I am still trying to be “present” as much as I can in my kids’ lives, and enjoy every moment. In another couple of years, this season of my life will have passed too.
I was reading a parenting article the other day and it said that there were only 940 Saturdays between the birth of a child and that same child leaving for college! By age four, 208 Saturdays are gone, by ten 520. I had never thought about time and raising children in those terms. It does seem that time flies so much more quickly when you look back. There are moments that seem eternal during parenting (the sleepless nights, or the challenges of discipline) but when put in the time frame of only 940 Saturdays, well the time is short.
I don’t say this to make you feel like you need to cram more parenting into each of your days, I say this so that you think about being truly “present” for your parenting. Don’t go through the motions each day, and when you find yourself doing that, then stop take a breath, and truly be present. Be present when your child is eating those strained carrots, be present when your toddler is emptying the cupboard in the kitchen, be present when your school aged child is struggling with spelling, be present when your teen shares with you before bed, and be present when you get that 11:00 pm call from your college aged child. Every stage, every challenge, every moment of chaos, every precious moment of family time is brief and fleeting. If you are not truly present, the moments will be gone.
There is no magic way to slow down time, so just concentrate on this Saturday…one of those 940 Saturdays, to not just go through the motions, but be present for every moment you are with your child. I am going to be present at these track meets this weekend…and I will tuck this moment away with all the other moments I cherish. Parenting is awesome each and every day.
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.