Tuesday, October 1, 2013

THINGS I WILL REGRET by Christie Smith

Today I played a board game with my 9 year old daughter. I finally fixed my 5 year old son's powerwheel lawn mower and watched as he sped off with the biggest grin on his face. I picked flowers with my 3 year old daughter and she said, "Here mom... I picked this one for you. Jesus made it, but I picked it out special for you." 

None of these activities were on my "to do" list. And, to be honest, when they asked if I could play... I didn't really want to. And, I didn't want to stop what I was doing to show my 10 year old how to fix his bike. But, one day very soon, he won't need me to show him much of anything. He'll be so big, so smart, so busy with his own life that it will be a chore to keep ol' mom incuded. I'll wish I had this day back.

I'll want all these days back. I doubt I will ever pray to have these loads of laundry back or these floors to clean or these dishes to put away. One, because I will still have laundry and floors and dishes to contend with till the day I die...but two, because those things are really not that important. I know they have to get done. I know that life is so much nicer when things are clean and in their place. But, it's so easy to underestimate the speed of these days! They really are flying by...no matter how slow they seem to drag on at times. 

We say, "Oh, I can't wait till they are all in school and I have a little time to myself!" 

"I can't wait till they can pick up after themselves and use the bathroom by themselves and read and write and entertain themselves!" 

But all too soon...they will entertain themselves. In fact, there won't be much you will be able to offer in the form of entertainment because they will be too cool for you. 

I know sometimes it's just easier to say no than yes. Like when you just have your schedule to complete and they want to join in which, of course, slows down the process. Or when they want to invite their friends over for those late night sleepovers. Or those times when you're tired and would rather just go to sleep than walk back to their room to lay with them or read them one more story.

I'm going to make a concious effort to let them help even though it takes longer than when I do it by myself. My job is not to clean the house as quickly and efficiently as possible. My job is to teach my children life skills. If I don't, I'm doing them a disservice. So, they're not in my way...they are simply wanting to grow up. And I'm missing it because I'm so busy doing it myself!

I'm going to say "I love you" more. I'm going to say "I'm sorry" more. I'm going to listen to them more...really listen. No tv in the background, no phone in my hand, no "Would you hurry up already!!!" look on my face. 

In twenty or thirty years, will I regret not answering that text right away or will I regret that look on their face when I say, "Just a second!"? Will I regret putting that chore off for another time or saying, "I can't right now. I have too much to do!"? 

I know the answers seem so obvious. But how do I stay focused on what really matters? That answer too often gets buried in activity and misplaced priorities. We have to figure out how to stay focused. We're running out of time to get this right! 


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