this ain't a dress rehearsal, Sookie.
I've been giving some thought to how much time I spend giving thought to things. A couple of things led me to this think. For one thing, I had the honor of being my eleven year old's academic assistant as he muddled his way through four yes I said four projects during this last month of school. I felt totally at rights with helping him, as it was a position of service to him and he was doing the planning and thinking and decision-making. I did the grunt work. The child has pulled out four maaaaajor projects in a short period of time, and between you me and the chickens, they were assigned because the teachers want to let the kids prepare for their projects during class. THAT way, they don't have to TEACH them. Alternately, the positive spin on the story is that they're preparing them for the volume and depth of work they will be expected to churn out in middle school. Either way, I digress. Secondly, I watched (re-watched I guess would be more accurate) Mamma Mia the other day. The song Meryl Streep's character sings about her daughter has always brought me to tears, but increasingly it brings me to bigger tears and for longer duration and most recently (when I watched it the other day) it made me do The Ugly Cry - sobbing, gasping, blowing my nose and unwittingly wrenching my face into all manner of contortions. My face, neck and ears turn red and blotchy, mascara runs down my face and I'm not able to speak. There's a reason it's called The Ugly Cry. The song is called Slipping through My Fingers. In it, she relates how she and her child sit at the breakfast table barely awake and instead of talking and laughing they let precious time go by. Then she says when her child has left for school, there's "that odd melancholy feeling and a sense of guilt I can't deny." She goes on to wonder why they didn't go on all the wonderful adventures she had planned for them to go on and says, "well some of that we did but most we didn't, and why I just don't know."
Know the feeling. My hand is planted firmly on the panic button. I realize, waaaaay deep down, I mean really r-e-a-l-i-z-e I only have a very few years left with my children. What museum have we left unseen, what culturally important event have we forgotten to attend, what have I neglected to teach or model that will leave them unprepared for their independence? What have I overdone that will leave them - again - unprepared for their independence, or maybe even scarred for life? We kid about that last part a lot, us parents. But in all actuality, even though 'scarred for life' does sound fairly ok reeeeally serious, I'm thinking there are most likely things I do on a regular basis that will negatively alter my children's future in some way.
My prayer is that for each one of those things I mess up, there are three good ones. Three good things they will remember from growing up in our home and being our child, belonging to us. Me. Belonging to me. I feel like God doesn't give you children, but instead He sends you His children to raise for Him. So you only get them for a little while. Then they slip through your fingers.
Gosh. I miss 'em already.