A few years ago, okay, maybe more than a few, Country singer Trace Adkins came out with another hit song. Unlike some of his more rowdy tunes, this one spoke about real life challenges of growing up and raising a family. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day struggles when children are young and needy. We often find ourselves wishing that time could speed up, just a little. But trust me, you really will miss this time in life.
As children ourselves, we couldn’t wait to grow up. It looks so cool from the outside to be an adult and make our own choices. But, nothing says reality like having to pay for your own food and roof. As we trudge through this thing called life, we don’t realize that “one day” has come upon us and we almost missed it.
Young people just want to start life
In his song, Adkins follows a young woman as she makes this journey through life. She is first seen as a teenager wanting to be through with high school and making her own way in the world. Her mother takes the time to turn off the car and gently tells her daughter to not be in such a hurry. Life passes fast and we don’t want to miss the little moments of memories along the way.
Once high school is finally over, we don’t realize how fondly we will look back at our younger selves. Childhood and teen years are so busy with growing up and learning about life, that we don’t appreciate the gift of time. It’s human nature to look forward to the next stage of life. Hopefully, we were blessed with a childhood that holds many fond memories.
Early 20’s hold so much promise
Years ago, most young people got a job or started a career and began thinking about possibly settling down with someone special. Life is full of dating, job responsibilities and taking care of that first apartment. During this time, our heads are full of dreams and possibilities. We can’t wait to get started on the next phase of life, be it a new job or marriage and starting a family.
When we do settle down, we start dreaming of planning our family and buying a home. Our days are usually fast-paced and busy and we forget to stop and drink in those little moments of perfection that pop-up now and then. It could be a quiet sunrise before our day begins or ending the evening with a well-cooked dinner and a T.V. show with our loved one. Either way, these are moments to cherish and they don’t last long. Trust me, you really will miss this.
Raising children and getting through
The children we hoped to have are finally here. Our family is complete and our dreams are coming true. But, wait, who has time to enjoy it? There always seems to be something needing fixed or someone needing attention. Sleepless nights with restless little ones and tired days full of demands leave us wanting some peace and quiet. Who could possibly think about missing this?
We never imagined conversations about which child left a banana in the car over the weekend? Or, who decided that it would be a good idea to see if the dog could eat those nasty leftovers in the frig? It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the preciousness of time when life is chock-full of one small crisis or mess after another.
The children are almost raised, finally
Before we know it, our little curtain climbers are preparing to embark on a life of their own. The high school years might seem like another lifetime to go, but they pass in the blink of an eye. One day, our freshman were terrified that they would be the targets for upper classmen. Our kids worried they would get lost on the way to class or fail an important subject. That first year, they struggled to find their way in a sea of older and wiser students.
Suddenly, they were sitting for their senior portraits and thinking about prom. The day the family that would never come is upon them. High school graduation and the beginning of another new life full of dreams and expectations.
Now we know what the “this’ is
We did it. Our children are grown and lived many of our dreams. There is now free time and we stay out late or go to bed early if we wish. If we choose to go out to dinner, it doesn’t have to be a kid-friendly place, if we don’t want it to be. But, somehow, we feel like we are missing something.
We stop and reflect for a moment and then, it hits us. We realize that in spite of all the chaos and hassle of raising our families, we really do miss this; all of this. Time and life go so fast that we forget that how precious every moment really is. We laugh at the silly moments and we cry at the heartaches we went through. But we know deep in our hearts that we wouldn’t trade one moment of it.
So, if you are currently going through the fire and brimstone of raising children, you might find yourself wishing that time would go a little fast. Please don’t. Trust me, you really will miss this.