The other day I glanced at the calendar and it occurred to me that the crazy kid you see above will be 14 in a few weeks. Not long after that revelation another thought came to mind. The equally crazy kid you see at the bottom will turn 16 in July.
I never thought I’d be the type of parent asking where the time has gone but here I am.
Where has the time gone?
It now makes perfect sense why my grandmother gave me long looks when I was their age. At the time I’m sure it was embarrassing but not anymore. Eventually they grow and we’re amazed at how quickly time has passed.
For those of you who are parents I don’t need to explain how much a child can change your life. But here’s a question I caught myself asking:
How much have I changed in those years?
Physically I’ve added a few grey hairs. I’ve also lost a few that will never grow back. I can recite from memory certain tunes that played non-stop when they were little and, sadly, I discovered a temper deep inside that I had no idea existed.
Major sinus headache – Busy grocery store – Hot summer day – Ages 6 & 4 – No, I will not by you ice cream. We’ve been over this – Stop crying. – Get off the floor. – Clean up on aisle 6!!!!!
For you parents out there I don’t have to explain. For those of you who are not but will be – Your time is coming.
So what happened to me? Am I different? Am I better than I was on that summer morning of July, 2002?
I had to find out
The first change that I can remember came in the form of music. I wanted them to have their own and at the same time share mine. Immediately both of them understood the magic of music.
On my end I was surprised how easily I began listening to their songs. Not once did I proclaim that my music was better. Surprisingly I found myself asking who was singing and what else do they have.
I also turned into a morning person. Gone are the days I wake an hour or less before work, hurrying out the door hoping I can beat traffic. I am now up at 5:30 and 7:30 on weekends. Turns out my grandfather was right, mornings are the best part of the day.
When it comes to my mouth I have gone from spouting off whatever comes to mind to being cautious. Maybe the world doesn’t need to hear everything I’m thinking.
Sometimes secrets are best.
Why Can’t I
But when it comes to my mind that’s where everything changed. Long before they arrived creativity was a nice dream but far from a reality.
I remember watching them create stories with their color books, their sketch pads and their laptops. At one point I’m sure I asked – Why can’t I?
I listened to their conversations but most of all their questions. Why is a flower blue and why is the grass green? How come our minds are spinning with ideas when it’s time for bed but we’re sleepy when it’s time to get up?
Solid questions but rarely met with solid answers.
Most of all that guy who looked a lot like me, long before they were born, was afraid to try.
The Lessons They Teach
For him it was easy to dream but afraid to fail. Working hard was not in the cards. Who wants to work hard for a dream if failure is part of the deck?
But how could I tell my girls to try again if I couldn’t do it myself? Somewhere along the way I learned.
Now experiencing new things are a way of life and if I stumble a few times I call it learning.
In a blink of an eye my girls will be out of the house living their lives. I’m sure I’ll catch myself asking that same question – Where did the time go? – But it’s the cycle of life and I’m excited to see where their lives will take them.
I’ve changed a lot in these 16 years. The most important thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay to fail. No longer am I afraid of that word.
Someday I’ll thank those two crazy kids for teaching me that lesson but it’ll have to wait. If I do it now I’m pretty sure I’d see an eye roll or two. Maybe I’ll wait another 16 years.
Parenting. The lessons they teach.
Happy Friday Everyone!