I was at the elementary school the other day picking up my six-year-old. When we were walking by his classroom, I noticed that his teacher's room was still open so I popped my head in to say 'hi'. Mrs. C has been the Kindergarten teacher for all three of my boys and she is awesome. A 50-something year old former P.E. teacher, she is loud, active and real. She's the only one I know that will call my kids out in a heartbeat, in front of me, without skipping a beat. She commands respect through adoration.
We chatted briefly and I let her know that I was heading out for my annual trek to Las Vegas. She gave me "the look" which I instantly interpreted as "Cathy what are you doing to me?!" You see, the Husband is great at a lot of things but staying on top of three active boys' schedules is not one of them - and she knows it. Without hesitating she says that I have to do ONE thing for her before I leave. And, without hesitation I said, "I know. I have to get a baby picture of Henry in by tomorrow, or else!"
I got home and started pulling my stuff together and remembered the baby photo. It's part of the open house project - all the kids bring in baby photos and then the class goes around trying to match everyone up. So in keeping with my promise, I ended up rifling through a bunch of old photos. At first I couldn't find any baby pictures of Henry! Yikes! But eventually I did, and it was such a wonderful trip in time. Oh, for days gone past! I cannot believe the time is gone.
As it turned out, I shared that sentiment with a friend of mine and his response was really intriguing to me.
Is the time really gone? I think you use your time wisely, so I wouldn't look at it like that.
Wow. I can't explain why, but this really struck me. It made me think - is the time really gone? Is time "gone" if you use it well? We have fun. We do things as a family. We enjoy life. We create memories, even if it's doing nothing. Instead of being sad or wistful of days gone by, I can celebrate the time we've had - the experiences shared. Getting to know my kids for the people they are becoming. I find this concept to be exciting and liberating. It motivates me to set the chores aside and enjoy myself and my time with the kids. There will always be dishes to wash, laundry to do, dinners to cook. But I will not always have my kids at home with me; to share with me moments to be captured in a photo, or not.
So I think my friend is right. I use my time wisely so the time will never truly be gone.