Are You Missing It?

Last night the little one excitedly jumped into our bed to watch movies with me. Now, this wasn’t something she had never done before. Friday’s are her usual movie nights with Grandma and Grandpa but last night wasn’t a Friday. It was spring break from school. A week night and she got to fall asleep in Grandma and Grandpa’s bed while watching movies. So exciting! She explained to me that this was her ‘very first spring break!’. It was a little thing. But a moment I am so glad I didn’t miss!

A couple of years ago, the whole family got to be entertained by my niece who wandered around the house making comments like, “this is the first time in 2010 I walked down the stairs. This is the first time in 2010 I hugged my dad. This is the first time in 2010 I said that”. There were a lot of things she did for the first time in 2010.

Every day, every child in the world can walk around saying “this is the first time…….”. “This is my first …..” Our children are growing up and, too often, we are missing it. There is so much in our adult world that seems important – the meeting at work we don’t think we should miss, the paperwork we brought home from the office to do this evening, the laundry that needs done, the dishes that need washed. All those things are important. I don’t argue that. I’m wondering, though, about priorities. When the little one is making her very first basket in a basketball game, where are we? Is it possible we could have worked our schedule not to miss that game? Working mothers daily feel the pain of having the sitter see the first steps of their child, hear the first words and many other firsts. Economic needs must be met. Some things can’t be put aside. The question is – Are we trading our children’s childhoods for a nicer house or a nicer car? If we are, maybe we should rethink our priorities.

It’s not just the big things that can be evaluated. Sometimes all it takes to be at your child’s next first is a little rescheduling. Mom doesn’t need to stay home to do the dishes while Dad takes the little one to the game. Mom and Dad can both participate in their child’s life. The dishes can wait until the little one is in bed. Dad, the lawn won’t grow ten feet in one night. It’ll wait until the next day – when there isn’t an important event – to be mowed. You probably won’t get a fine from the neighborhood association over one day.

We have this day, this moment, with our little ones. No one can love them as we do. No one can have as important an impact on their lives. No one will enjoy their laughter as you do. Be there! Just be there. They’re growing up and experiencing life. To them it is so exciting. Don’t miss it.


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