Life Notes: Savor Time with Children
by Missy Goodwin, Human Resources Assistant

As I stood at the ironing board the other night, getting school uniforms ready for the first day of school, my oldest daughter, Natalie, made a most unwelcome remark. She turned to me from where she was sitting at the computer and said “Hey, Mom, tomorrow is my LAST first day of school.” As if I needed any sort of reminder that my child is entering her senior year of high school, she hits me with one of those “thunderbolt” moments. We’ve all had them; a simultaneous clap of thunder and bolt of lightening! It is a moment that reaches in deep and shakes you up a little – especially around the area of your heart. Of course, I knew this day was coming. I know our job as parents is to equip our children with the tools they need to live happily and independently from us – to try and shape them into what God wants them to be; to make them confident enough in their own abilities that when the day comes, they’ll be excited to go out on their own; to give them roots and wings. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I KNOW ALL THAT!

What I don’t understand is this … why does it have to happen so fast? As I snapped their picture this morning, I was reminded (as I am every year) of a time not so long ago. A time when the first day of school picture included – back-packs bearing Walt Disney movie characters; lunch boxes that had been carefully, lovingly packed with things like Teddy Grahams and juice packs; great BIG hair bows; and even BIGGER snaggle-toothed smiles. And as my senior and my 8th-grader Emily left for school this morning, I drifted back to the days of those sweet, little high-pitched voices calling to each other, “I get the front seat!” Okay, so maybe it was more like screaming, and so what if it marked the beginning of an all-out sibling war each morning – I still miss it! (Funny how some memories soften around the edges with time.)

So what’s the point of all this? Here it is: SAVOR EVERY LITTLE MOMENT WITH YOUR CHILD. Sorry it’s not more profound, and you’ve heard it a thousand times. But some things are so significant that they bear repeating. As my very wise mother told me when my first was a newborn – the dust can wait, the cobwebs can wait, the laundry, the book, the movie, etc., etc. All those things can wait, but CHILDREN CAN’T WAIT. They have a way of growing up whether you’re paying attention or not. So PAY ATTENTION. Enjoy. Savor each moment. Trust me, there’s a thunderbolt out there with your name on it.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.