Long Beach Fishing Derby: November 17, 2012
I have two kids, Emma and Levi (7 and 4 respectively). I love my kids and if you ask anyone who knows me, they know that I love spending time with them. I brag about them as any doting father does and I’m so proud of who they are becoming. I have to give a lot of that credit to their mom. She handles most of that and I just take the credit when I’m out with them. I love hearing people tell me how cute they are, how sweet they and how well behaved they are. I remember one time not too long ago, the three of us were at a park and Emma and Levi saw a little girl and her father. My kids are just naturally friendly and so they just said hello to the young girl. The young girl returned the gesture very timidly and said Hi. Then my kids said hi to her dad and he very politely returned the gesture as well. As they were getting into the car the father approached me and said, “you have really nice children. It says a lot about a parent when their kids are so pleasant and approachable.” I was overwhelmed with pride at that moment. I, we did something right with our kids. I was proud of them for being who they are and they’re like that with everyone (I’m sure as most kids are). I enjoy my kids, I enjoy moments, I enjoy who they are and I soak it all up.
So as a fairly new parent, new in the sense that most of my friend’s kids are in or out of college, I often here this phrase. “Enjoy them now because They Grow Up Fast.”
This is something I refuse to acknowledge as truth. My kids aren’t growing up fast, they’re growing up in the same time allotted everyone on this planet. They don’t travel in time, they don’t crawl through worm holes everyday and they certainly don’t have the ability to bend the rules of time and space. They are kids living in the same dimension as the rest of us therefore not growing any faster than anyone else on this planet.
Ok, so I know that’s not what they mean by “They Grow Up Fast”. But I still don’t acknowledge this false truth. I don’t like that phrase and whenever someone tells me to enjoy them now because they grow up fast I respond, “Actually, it’s not going by fast at all.” And when I think about it, it’s not. I just recently looked at some videos of Emma when she was three. I thought to myself, that was a long time ago. So there’s proof it’s not going by fast. If it were going by fast I would be saying, “Seems like just yesterday she was three.”
I think most parents just don’t live in the moment. There it is, it’s that simple, parents don’t live in the moment.
When I am with Emma and Levi I try to always live in that moment. Sometimes they don’t get all of me and sometimes I’m too busy to play with them but I don’t regret it. I can’t play hot wheels with Levi every waking moment. I can’t play dolls with Emma every waking moment. I can’t do everything at once. But what I can do it live in the moment and not chase the moment.
What I mean is, I think parents who say that their kids grow up fast miss a lot of moments with their kids as they grow up. They miss them because they’re either too busy trying to make sure they have enough for their kids to do or they are busy making plans to do something with their kids.
Levi and I have this thing now where we take walks two or three times a week. We’ll usually walk to the shopping center by our house and just take it in. I don’t worry about when we’ll get there and when we’ll get back, I just walk with my son. We have no schedule and we enjoy our time together. Sure the moments go by fast but he’s not growing up any faster because I can enjoy that time with him.
Enjoy your time with your kids in the moment and stop telling yourself that they grow up too fast. Keep telling yourself that and it will seem like they did because you were too busy worrying about them growing so fast that you didn’t take time to enjoy the moment.
I’m going to enjoy them now because they’re growing up SLOW and that’s just the way I like it.