I *almost* missed this...
This week I have a short, sweet, obvious reminder.
It's funny how sometimes I need the obvious ones the most.
I share this not because I’ve mastered it - but because I need it.
Here it is: Our kids will never be today-old again. Don’t miss it.
Um.... Duh? Isn't that obvious? Nope. It isn't. Check out how I arrived here:
This week, my oldest daughter, whom we have affectionately named our family cruise director, decided we should camp in the backyard under the rusty old silo roof.
Honestly, I didn’t want to.
My mind instantly came up with a hundred excuses why we shouldn’t do it. Open air camping is wet, and there are spiders, and farm cats, and the quality of sleep isn’t good, and my 1.5 year old would probably be awake all night… no thanks. As my daughter continued to dream, it was actually time to start taking apart the old silo roof which rendered it unsafe for camping. (Phew! Thanks grandpa!)
As any good cruise director would do, once the roof was off the table, she made another plan: the tent.
Honestly, I didn’t want to do that either.
I loved camping as a kid, but always disliked the work of setting up, taking down, and packing the car with the mats and bags for 6 siblings and parents.
Rolling 18 items of camping gear just wasn’t exciting enough for little Liz.
It’s not like I ever had to do it alone, but for some reason, sleeping bags and I just don’t get along.
As my daughter dreamed all day of the fun we would have, all I could see was the work involved. I don’t like rolling sleeping bags. Why would I choose to do it in my yard when my comfy bed is just a few steps away? I have enough work to do, thank you.
After hours of internal wrestling, I realized something: my kids are growing up - TODAY.
It is way too easy to wait for “some other time” for everything I don’t want to do today.
The trouble is, life is busy and the “some other time” is just tomorrow’s today which carries its own excuses for “some other time.”
I don’t want to live like that. I want to live TODAY because my kids will never be today-old again.
So what did we do? We made a fire, cooked our supper, pitched the tent, and spent not one but TWO nights with all 5 of us in the yard having the best time making great memories.
If my “some other time” self could have heard the squealing delight of my kids wriggling like caterpillars in and out of the tent’s doggie door while Jonathan and I sat by the fire, I think I would have been quicker to say yes.
If my “some other time” self could have seen the happy lion’s mane of golden curls sleepily emerging from the tent at 10:30 the next morning, I think I would have been quicker to say yes. If my “some other time” self could have seen the sister-bonding house “set-up” of dolls and stuffies, I think I would have been quicker to say yes.
Was it perfect? Nope.
Did I get cold? Yep.
Did someone wet their sleeping bag? Yep.
Did my 1.5 year old wake up at 2 am the second morning and need to come inside? Yep.
But guess what?
We took full advantage of enjoying our kids… and it actually made me want to camp again.
AND get this! -- After two days of fun, when I was rolling up the sleeping bags, both daughters couldn’t have been more excited to help. Who knew someone could love rolling sleeping bags. I shudder to think I almost passed my sleeping bag roller phobia on to my kids without even thinking.
Maybe you’ve got this “today” thing down, but I sure don’t! I just need a reminder to take advantage of it. Chances are, you do too.
Obviously, we don’t have to camp to enjoy our kids. Maybe just sit on the floor with them - TODAY. Try looking into their eyes for a solid 30 seconds - TODAY. Have a dance party - TODAY. Wrestle - TODAY. Read a good book with them- TODAY.
Because our kids will never be today-old again. Don’t miss it.
Ready for some fresh milk?? Yes Please!