Sometimes we let life pass us by in a haze of disconnection. Suddenly our children are older, taller, smarter, no longer babies. You find yourself trying to recall the last week, the last month, the last year. Songs are written about how much you will miss this, landslides bring us down.
Tonight EB & I went well past bedtime to hang out and watch Akeelah & the Bee. Sharing this time with her, I realized how often as a parent that I don't listen to my kid. I get so wrapped up in my own emotions and stress that I forget that she is living this life right along with me. She has experiences in her world separate from me, that I take for granted. So I took advantage of some much needed time with my daughter. Hang bedtime, hang the dishes, hang mommy time after the kids are asleep!
We snuggled up on the couch and finished the movie, just her and I. Then as I tucked her into bed I realized she needs more than this, (more than a movie and a soda pop, more than a kiss goodnight see ya in the morning light). So I kissed her and then I told her how beautifully amazing she was. I told her that she was smart, funny and that she could do anything in the world.
As I whispered long overdue encouragements into my daughter's ear I saw her light shine. Her smile grew and her eyes crinkled in just the right way. I looked down and I was so totally and completely in love with my child. I had an instant memory of nursing her when she was just a few days old and how I used to call her my wise little ancient Japanese man. This is how she looked to me then and now, like a monk bestowing infinite wisdom if only I were open enough to receive it. As the words of my song enveloped us both I found peace in that moment. Her eyes drifted shut and her mouth stayed smiling. She is mine and I did not miss this.
I may be waxing philosophical and slightly poetic, but that is why I write here after all. I am going to miss these moments when they are gone. However I will not miss them because I let them pass me by, I will miss them because I took the time to have them. The images of my days old daughter and my seven year old daughter will meld and grow as time passes.
If we take the time to truly listen to our children, to truly experience them and love them for the amazing beings that they are, then we are truly blessed. As adults we weild the power to help shape our child's future, to boost their confidences, to help them live fearlessly and in complete and total love. It is easy to get caught up in the business of being an adult, just one more minute, mommy needs to do this thing or that, yada yada yada. So tonight take a moment, truly and without your own baggage look at your children. Love your children for the amazing beings that they are and will become. Trust me, you will be happy that you did. "You're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back."