As a younger woman, I never thought about getting older. I was one of those that thought “Oh, I have at least 20 more years before I’m 40, so that’s like living another lifetime before that happens!” The problem is I had no clue how fast time would go. I guess most of us have that issue in our younger years.
Seriously, how many of you remember those long summer days when you were 8 years old and you had absolutely nothing to do or no one to play with? Remember how long those days would last? Every hour seemed to last a day, and a week was the equivalent of a month or longer! Oh to have time slow down like that again! The other problem is I didn’t redeem the time. I have to be careful not to get stuck and dwell on that thought.
I am now Lolli (grandma) to two beautiful little boys 3 months apart! It’s like having little twins running around and I love it! It seems just like a few short months ago we were not so patiently awaiting their arrival, and now they are a year and a half. But since the sounds of their sweet little pitter-pattering feet have entered my life, I am reminded of the years when my own children were pitter-pattering around and I realize just how valuable time is. And how fleeting.
I always felt sad for my grandparents when they would reminisce over times long past. I felt as if they were living with a lot of regrets and could have or should-haves. Why would anyone want to remember things that made them feel that way? But now I get it. Now, I am the grandparent doing the reminiscing and let me tell you, it is sad! But it is also so very sweet. God gave me four precious little souls to be mama to, and while I may not have (definitely didn’t) do everything perfectly, I still have the privilege of calling them, my children. I could spend most of my time wishing that I would have done better, been better, but I choose to live the moments I have now instead of reliving the moments that could have been.
Would you mind if I shared a few things with you that I have learned through the years? That’s another thing we older ladies like to do! I won’t be long, I promise.
I am human, I will make mistakes until I die.
This I confessed to my children and shared ways that I knew I could have been a better mom. I use these conversations to encourage them to not make the same mistakes that I did, or share ways that they could avoid those mistakes. I call these little gold nuggets. Don’t get me wrong, I never tell my children how to parent, but when the time is right and the time is appropriate, I insert little pieces of knowledge gleaned from experience. We never stop being parents after all.
Don’t sweat the petty stuff!
So what if they dump the oatmeal out on the floor, eat all of the little apple pieces from it, then leave the rest behind for you to step in later? These are moments that 20 years you will shed a few happy tears over as you look back through time and wonder where that time went!
When you are adjusting your daughter’s veil or fixing your sons tie before their big moment, I promise you won’t be thinking (or possibly even remember) that broken picture frame. Or the spilled milk, or their beautiful rendition of a Da Vinci masterpiece in crayon on your living room wall. Learn to breathe through the “moments”, count to ten. Because one day, those things won’t even matter. Or, they may possibly be some of your sweetest memories.
Spend more time with them.
Yes, life is busy, and can be very difficult during those years, but trust me when I say: slow down sister. Rock them a few minutes longer. Read that bedtime story instead of tucking in and running off to enjoy your “free time”.
Believe me- you’ll have plenty of that later. High five the kids. You can clean the house later. Stop and really listen to that endless chatter. They have a lot to say right now, and one day, there won’t be near as much that they are so eager to talk about. Savor the moments, sweet friend.
Babies don’t keep. Time won’t wait. And life is short.
One day, you will be watching your grandkids run around your house and asking yourself, “When did this happen?” And you’ll be reminiscing to your grandkids about your kids because you completely get it.