So many children around me just aren’t children anymore. My god-daughter just had a baby…her first. And while I love her because she’s wonderful and I love her mom, I missed her (and her brother’s, who is my god-son) entire childhood. See, I knew her mom in school…met her in the 7th grade to be exact, and we were close. So close that in our early 40’s (gasp) we still keep in touch by phone, e-mail, or in person when we can. But at 16, I left the state and never went back. 1200 miles between us meant one or two visits a year, if we were lucky…not exactly a good way to get close to her really great kids.
And then there’s my husband’s nephews and niece. We moved back up north (after I’d be in the south for pretty much 18 years), a little over seven years ago. My husband’s nephews and niece were still kids then…still young enough to go pick up and take to Frankenmuth, or CedarPoint, or even have over for a sleep over. But we didn’t… They live an hour away, and it just seemed there’d always be time ‘later.’ Oh, we saw them at Christmas and other holidays too, but that’s not the same thing as getting to spend some really good quality time with them. Now the niece is a young woman with a toddler; the oldest nephew has his own place and is in college; and the younger nephew has graduated high school, has his own place, and is expecting a baby (well he’s not, but you know what I mean).
Another friend of mine has two children. One whom I was close to when she was little because we were neighbors for a year or so, and one who I really didn’t get to see that much because distance again became a factor (we ended up living in different states). The little girl I loved so much is now grown, and expecting her first baby (something in the water, folks, hah!). But the boy, the youngest, is still a kid. He’s my daughter’s age in fact (just turned teen) and even though he’s in a different state, I’m not blowing this one. His mom is taking a trip to my state, and she’s coming to visit us and then leave her son in my care for a few days. Hurrah! I actually get to enjoy time with him before he’s all grown up and has no interest in spending time with a boring old lady . You can bet your shoes I’m going to enjoy every second that young man is here.
And the point of my story, in case you’re wondering what it is…is that kids don’t stay kids long. They really don’t. You’ve only got a short window of opportunity to be a part of their youth. It’s a glorious opportunity and gift to be a part of a child’s life. Don’t blow your chance. If you have young ones in your life, and you’re thinking, “Man, I’ve got to spend some time with such and such,” or “I’d sure like to take such and such here or there,” don’t just let the thought be a fleeting one. Take action. Make those memories now. Trust me, tomorrow might be too late.