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Hug Your Family a Little Tighter Tonight

There’s something about the month of March. Not only did one of my dearest friends pass away but every few days I would hear of someone else who had suddenly lost their life. One dad of two had a heart attack while driving and drove into a lamppost. Another mom of three lost her battle to cancer. And, so on…  Of course we all know that no one lives forever on earth. Everyone’s days are numbered. But, this month more than ever it is striking a chord with me.

I’d really better make the most of my time. If I have a kind unspoken thought about someone then I’d better say it. If I have something to work through with someone then I’d better call them up. I’d better not waste time doing things that just don’t matter. I’d better make sure I live a worthy life. I should not let a day go by without telling my loved ones how important they are to me. And, if I have a dream, then no better time than the present to start making it a reality.

You always think you’ll have more time. You always think there will be a tomorrow or a next year. How would you start to live differently if you couldn’t take the future for granted? What would you do today so that you would have no regrets?

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“You Can’t Be Ten, I Won’t Allow it.”

You know that scene in the Steve Martin movie, “Father of the Bride”, where he is listening to his grown daughter announce she is in love and he looks at her and sees his little seven-year-old announcing her engagement? Well, it’s not as bad as all that but almost.

“You can’t be ten, I won’t allow it. You must stay an infant in my memory.” For some reason when I think of my daughters I remember them most vividly when they were 6 months, 4 years old, and 6 years old. We’d drop off my oldest at school and then to preschool for my middle daughter, and then back home for morning nap for the baby. I remember carrying the baby in carrier while I volunteered in my daughter’s classroom and pushing a double stroller up the hills of the LA Zoo. We’d have little picnics on the front lawn in our best dresses and hats and stroll down the cul-de-sac to visit the neighbor’s pot-bellied pig, Sukie. Ah, those were the days…

Or were there? It’s funny how I think so fondly of that time and yet I know that it was also one of the most difficult times of my life, as well. I would enjoy the moments but by the end of the day I would wait so anxiously for my husband to enter the house after his day at work and quicker than he could put down his bag and say “hello” I was out the door for a break. I didn’t even have any urgent place I had to be but just the thought of strolling around Target by myself or checking out produce at Vons without 3 kids in tow sounded like a dream. I needed that daily break. My days were physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. I enjoyed the privilege of being home to raise my kids but it was not an easy job.

As I look at my hardest days with my two teens and one preteen, I know that also one day I will look back and think fondly of this time when my house is empty of children. Even the most challenging times will fade in comparison to the fond memories. It’s going too quickly…someone stop the clock.

“You can’t be ten. I won’t allow it.”

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