Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Time to Stop and Think

Today I happened to glance at the obituaries and one caught my eye. It was for a 34-year-old woman who died after a 21-month battle with breast cancer. Her children are 4 1/2 and 20 months.

It stopped me in my tracks.

I know young people die all the time, but her kids are about the same ages as my kids. And all I could think about was what her 4 1/2 year old would remember about Mom, and if her 20 month old would remember her at all.

If you died today, what would your kids remember about you?

Would they remember you yelling? Demanding? Hurrying them along constantly?

Or would they remember you talking to them? Teaching them? Letting them go at their own pace when possible?

It is so easy to get impatient with our kids. It takes less time to yell than it does to get down on their level and explain and redirect. It's easier to stem the flow of questions than to answer "why" a million times, even looking up answers you don't know. It's hard not to think about the thousands of other things we could, and maybe even should, be doing instead of joining our kids in living in the moment.

But I know how I would rather be remembered.

It's not about throwing discipline out the window or not hurrying my kids along when necessary. It's about going the extra mile to be the mom I really want to be. The mom I want my kids to remember, whether I die tomorrow or live to be 100.

So today I focused on laughing with my boys. There were still lots of time outs for climbing, but there were books and giggles at lunch instead of Mom cleaning while the boys ate. There was plenty of time outside and lots of trips down the slide -- long after I was worn out.

Then tonight I took Amelia to the park after the boys were bathed and in their pajamas. We played and laughed and lived in the moment. It was reenergizing.

And we'll be doing a lot more living in the moment and connecting with our kids.

Because no matter how many years we get on this earth, life is still too short.

© Trippin' Mama 2010


Stacia said...

This very much resonates with me. I had a friend die from cancer at the same age; his daughter was 1. For months after his death, I focused on living in the moment, making each one count. And yet it's so easy to forget, to go back to old ways, to assume time is infinite. Thank you for this reminder.

Mary said...

Thanks for the reminder!!

Mary said...

Thanks for the reminder!!

Jen said...

This was a beautiful post. So true and such a good reminder.

Kitty said...

Thank you so very much.

Amy said...

This hits a bit too close to home! I think I needed to hear that.

Rachel and Clint said...

Thank you for this post. Even though my little babies have not yet arrived I understand the importance behind what you're saying because I was a nanny for years and I've (sadly) seen so many children ignored or pushed aside my their too-busy parents. I am guilty of cleaning/organizing when I could have played and wrestled on the floor with the kids but there were so many other times we spent one-on-one reading books, singing, dancing and just having fun. Those are the best memories and I hope I will be that mom one day that you write about - the one who will be remembered for the time she spent with her children and the love she showed them. Thanks for this reminder and beautiful post!