While having a turn out the other day, I came across this framed "essay" by the artist/writer known as Sark. I think what she's saying is: Spend quality time with your kids! I wanted to run out of the house and
whack it over the head of give it to a woman who was walking down the street with her two elementary school aged kids yesterday morning. One blonde headed cutie skipped along on either side of her whilte she sauntered between them, head down, texting and smiling to herself. (Parents ignoring their kids while on cell phones is a pet peeve of mine.) Instead, since my kids are grown, I passed the picture onto a friend who was spending time with her pre-schoolers at the Farmer's Market today.
There's so much that's happened in our lives since our kids were little and I've treasured so many things we've done together. Though it doesn't seem like it was "only yesterday", it does seem like the time was much too short in comparison to the time they'll spend away from us as independent adults. And though I enjoy them immensely now, I do miss that innocence and open minded curiosity, the surprising wisdom and undisguised emotion, the impulsive hugs and kisses, and the unedited truths.
If I could go back, I would have spent more time just watching them play and interact, kept myself from tell them how to do things so often, and let them figure things out in their own creative ways, and not worried so much about finding "teachable moments". I know my kids didn't suffer too badly from not having the perfect Mom. I just wish, perhaps selfishly for my own enjoyment, I'd taken the time to observe a little more and prod a little less. It's a shame that no matter how many people tell you "they grow up before you know it", you don't always understand what they're trying to say. So here I am trying to tell you the same thing and hoping if you don't already know it, you'll get what I mean.
* The title is a quote from Helen Hayes