“Days of youth are so frivolously spent
Then we wonder years later where all that time went” (written by me, only a moment ago)
My son turns 11 on Sunday and my thoughts are all over the place. Sometimes I think about when he was little and wondering where all the time went. How did he go from my womb to a baby in my arms at the hospital to a toddler running rampant to a boy on his first day of school to a boy now nearly 11 years old? I have been looking at pictures of him throughout his life. He’s experienced more than many 11 year old children do, though there is still a side of him that is still youthful, vibrant, and ready to tackle the world. I am proud of my son. He is not the easiest to handle much of the time, but he’s got a heart of gold and is beyond intelligent and talented. There are times when I sigh and wonder when he’ll be 18, but much of the time, I feel like he’s growing up too quickly. I suppose most parents go through that throughout their children’s lives.
I have also been thinking about my own childhood. I remember being 11 myself, being in fifth grade, some of the kids I went to school with, being a Girl Scout, and so on. Where does the time go? You can nail those windows shut, but let me tell you, it will just go out the back door, the chimney, or wherever it can. You can’t pause it, go backwards, or even leap ahead. Time goes at the pace it’s going to and we just have to go with it, regardless of what we might want at any given time.
So here I am, 34 and will be 35 next month….with a nearly 11 year old son. Before I know it, he will be 18 and I will think back to the moments when I wanted to rush his childhood, mostly when he was acting up ha ha, and then find myself wishing I could turn the pages of old calendars back….to hold onto even a moment more of his youth. Then before I know it, he’ll be 34, nearly 35….putting me at 54, nearly 55. Will he be married? Will he have children of his own? Who knows? Only God thus far, but I trust that He has a plan for Zach, just like He does for me. The cycle will keep going, whether I like it or not. We’re born one day and have so much time to live, then our lights go out….making room for more to be lit, to have their time.
While my light shines for others to see, I hope to give all the love I have to those around me….most importantly, to my son. Whether he’s 11, 16, 21, 35, 50, and so on….while I am still here, I hope he always knows just how much he means to me. I also hope that I have instilled some good in him that will last him a lifetime. My sincerest hope for him is that he grows up to be a man of courage, love, and honor that is driven, faithful, kind, hardworking, and successful. No matter what paths he chooses, whom he chooses to walk his many paths on his journey of life with…I hope he have a life full of purpose, one he is proud of, and one that others will remember long after his time here is done. I want more for him than I do myself, though by showing him I have it in me to go after my dreams, I hope he finds it within him to do the same.
Each phase in our lives seems endless while we’re going through it, but then looking back, we wonder how we got to where we are. I think it is more wise to wonder about where we’re headed, than where we were. Though I think it is even wiser still to live in the moment we’re in. Focusing too heavily on either side of that can be draining, even if it’s positive memories or hopes. I hope Zach is cherishing his childhood as he has it. Sometimes I know he wishes to be older so he can drive, stay up later, do more things, and so on…as most of us have done ourselves when we were “young”. I just hope he doesn’t dwell so much on it that when he’s older, he doesn’t find himself wishing he hadn’t wasted his childhood.
Ah, but enough of all that. A very happy time is coming and so I am going to take my own advice and focus on that. He’ll only be 11 once and I want to make the most of it, so that when I reflect back to this time….I can smile and know I did all I could to enjoy it and make it wonderful for him and for all of us.