“Okay, now you’re the teacher, and I’m the student.” The next-door girls are over and the kids are playing school in the living room. I’m in the kitchen, eavesdropping.
“But now I want to pretend like I’m 19 years old,” Tate announces.
“But this is third grade. This isn’t high school,” her friend reminds her. They discuss Act Two of their game for a bit, and decide to correct course onward to the teenage years. They’re still in math class, discussing three plus four. But now Tate can walk herself to school.
She’s been like this most of her life, wishing she were older. I remember standing on the balcony of our apartment overseas, discussing her wedding and honeymoon plans. She was four. She also reminds me weekly that when she becomes a teenager, she would like a hot pink laptop.
I was like this, too—in a darn hurry to hurry up with life. In elementary school, I couldn’t wait to walk the halls of middle school. By seventh grade, I was ready for my freshman year of high school. And by junior year, I was mentally decorating my first college apartment.
And of course, you know that by the fourth semester of college, I was wondering who I was going to marry. Those entry-level science classes made it easy to space out and mentally plan my bridesmaids’ bouquets. Whoever they’d end up being.
I didn’t marry right out of college, naturally. I went abroad for a bit, and it’s a good thing I did, because that’s where I met Kyle. But even there, I’d reminisce about the next step—coming home, getting married. I loved cross-cultural life, but I still yearned for the future. For the next thing.
During our pre-marital counseling, we predicted we’d wait about five years to have children. Of course, Tate was born a few months after our second anniversary.
“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” -CS Lewis
When I became a parent, life started speeding by much faster. A child is born, I blink, and he’s crawling. I turn my head, and then he’s walking, talking, having opinions. And I hear from those a few years ahead of me that it’ll continually speed by at an alarming rate.
And yet, I still yearn for the day when there are no more diapers to change. When all my kids can read to themselves. When the walls aren’t splattered with the evening’s dinner.
But really? That’s exchanging one gift for another. These days I have now, they are precious, just like the ones I’ll have in a few years. Wishing them away is to miss the beauty right in front of me, encrusted countertop and all.
“We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God’s.” -Henry Ward Beecher
Of course, we hope for heaven. We have good things waiting for us, and it’s good to wait eagerly for them. But we miss out on His gifts for RIGHT. NOW. if we wish for the next gift more than giving thanks for today’s.
Tate’s now playing LEGO, happy to be seven again. Her friends are discussing the benefits of having a household robot. Her younger brother runs into the room, because he has an opinion on the matter, too. The day is glorious, so in a few minutes, I think I’ll kick them out to the backyard, where they frequently play bakery, build forts, and wash their bikes.
“Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.” -Jean de la Bruyere
May they savor today, and enjoy the bounty of childhood. And may I take notes.
What are you savoring TODAY?
By Tsh, Simple Mom