We have a sweet neighbor lady, I’d guess in her 60s. She lives alone but visits her husband daily at a care facility for people with Alzheimer’s. One day I stopped to chat, and she shared some honest struggles about what it’s like to be married to someone altered by dementia.
My heart ached for her. And you know what she told me?
Enjoy your children.
Huh. I confess normally when a grandmother scolds me to “enjoy every minute” in the mom trenches, I assume she is the one affected by memory loss. These days are precious, yes, but they’re also hectic and hard. Don’t these women remember?
But I get it now.
They just choose to remember fondly. To view the parenting years for what they truly are, above the din of tantrums and homework and hot dogs for dinner. My neighbor lady has the advantage of seeing my life through a wisdom filter of decades gone by.
And she knows something I forget.
These years of raising a family are fleeting. Right now, you and I are living the todays that will one day become our fondest yesterdays.
How are we spending them?
Crabby? Impatient? Exhausted? Of course. But can we halt the cranky default long enough to speak softly to the people we love best?
Are we wishing ahead—to the day the baby finally cuts those teeth, ditches those diapers, speaks in full sentences, or spends a whole day in school so at last the house will be quiet? Someday we’ll miss the noise.
And how many of us spend our family hours glued to a laptop, an iPhone, a to-do list. Distractions will never cease. Are we strong enough to shut them down, to look directly into our child’s eyes and memorize that beautiful face before it grows another day older?
Before the kids are no longer kids.
We are the moms, the memory makers. How are you building yours?
Last week I saw this video from Apple. Maybe you’ve seen it, too. It punched me in the heart and reminded me that this mommy season will one day be in the past. Take a minute to watch it, and you’ll see what I mean. (Subscribers, if you can’t see this video via e-mail, click here to watch it on the blog.)
Right now, we are living our future memories. Let’s make them beautiful, amen?
Merry Christmas, friends. May you spend this week building sweet memories with the people you love best.
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(This isn’t a promo for Apple; I have no affiliation with them. I just really love this video and thought you would, too.)