I have been thinking a lot lately about how children and teens nowadays are in such a rush to grow up. On the flip side of this coin is another truth: Children don’t stay young forever.
I wrote about this idea in my book: “LIGHTBULB MOMENTS: 50 AHA! INSIGHTS THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE” – it’s a pretty simple message but because I believe it’s so important I would love to share with you all an excerpt:
When you are a parent there are many moments you wish you could fast-forward to its end. You pray for the sleepless nights to end, can’t wait for toilet-training to be mastered, get sick over the endless vomiting and think if you have to face another temper tantrum you will pull out your own hair. You wish for the amazing miracle of a moment of peace, a day which typically arrives when you send your kids to school. Finally you have scored it – a much-needed break!
Then these breaks get longer. Your kids slowly detach from their safety blanket. They don’t need you anymore. They go to bed without requesting a goodnight kiss. Or maybe they go to bed long after you and you don’t even notice the unsuspecting feeling of dread until it washes over you as they exit the door to live their own life, without you.
This is the goal of raising children: we want to teach them to become independent, strong and loving young adults and provide them with the skills to live their own life because they will not be attached to your side forever. They won’t always need you to pick out their clothes, cut their food, pack their schoolbag, take them to playdates and generally organize their life like a shepherd overseeing his or her flock of sheep.
One day your children will grow up and they will leave you behind. This is why it is so paramount that we enjoy every waking minute with our children while we still have the chance. If they want to play a game with you, play the game! If they want a cuddle, give them the cuddle! If they need a listening ear, stop what you are doing right now and listen.
Because the day will come when you wish for these interruptions again… It’s hard to believe this could possibly be true, that you could miss the scattered toys lying all over the playroom or the school drop offs or listening to the stories of what happened in the classroom today.
One day your children will no longer live under your roof and even when they are fully grown, you will still think of them as your baby, someone you wish you could still embrace in your arms, to give them one more kiss and cuddle, but they will no longer there to accept it.
So take the time to do it now, while you can. Children do not stay young forever and time has a way of running faster than we can ever keep up with it.