parenting adviceThe sun is sinking lower on the horizon, streaming through the trees. Another day come and gone in Costa Rica.

I lie on my back on our bed, next to my little baby. Our room is spacious and light, with dozens of windows that let in the evening sunlight.

Greg climbs onto the bed and lies on the other side of Saige. We both stare at her, delighting in the pure pleasure of observance.

As it often happens while 'baby-gazing', we enter a meditative state. [message type="custom" width="100%" start_color="#FFFFFF" end_color="#FBF8FF" border ="non" color=""]Raise your family. Live your dream. Change the world. Check out the Fantastic Family Friday webinar series here.[/message]

“The years are flying by,” Greg comments, a common topic of his lately, especially since he’s been reading the Little House series to the kids. They’ve just reached the point where Laura has married Almanzo and moved out of the house. It’s been a poignant subject for him as he contemplates our own children leaving the nest. “It almost brought me to tears while I was reading it the other night,” he told me.

“We’re getting closer to forty,” I respond. I just celebrated my 35th birthday last week. “My mother is going to have a 40 year old daughter! That’s the age I imagine her to be.”

“And her mother is approaching death,” (my grandmother is ninety now,) “and your mom will be the grandmother.” (My mom already has 17 grandchildren, and she’s in her fifties.)

[pullquote style="right" quote="dark"]Life is about being with those you love and existing fully in that moment." (Click to tweet)[/pullquote]“Sunrise, sunset, quickly flow the years,” I start to sing. We just watched Fiddler on the Roof with the kids a couple of weeks ago. “My dad loved that movie, and he used to get emotional over that song, and talk about his children growing up and getting married. Now I can understand why. The years are passing quickly. He’ll be gone 11 years this September. How sad that we’ve missed having his interactions with our kids.”

Conversation ceases and we continue staring in silence at our precious baby. Everything grows completely still and noiseless, a rare occurrence with our family of eight. A conduit to another world is opened in that silence, and a moment in eternity as captured, life is suddenly lucid.

This is what it’s about, being with those you love, and existing, fully living in that moment. No other distractions, not other worries or concerns. Just this moment of life, real and rich. Everything is just so right.

Then the moment passes, and our children are calling and ready for dinner. We gather around the kitchen counter where we eat our meals (tonight it’s by candlelight), and offer thanks for our meal, for each other, for a wonderful life.

Talking about Kimball’s upcoming birthday I tell them, “I don’t want you to grow up.”

“I just want to stay eight forever,” he says.

“I guess we better cancel your birthday then,” I joke.

“No! I want to stay eight, but we can’t stop it. I just keep getting bigger.”

You’re right. We can’t stop it...

By the light of the candle Parker starts singing, “Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the years...”

All I can do is make the most of them.



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4 Responses

  1. Catherine Forest

    So very timely… My twins just turned 10 and I felt the same way… I want to stop time now (and we also just finished the Little House serie… and I cried when Laura left!!).


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