Sunday, November 3, 2013

They won't wait for you.

My husband and I were on a date playing mini-golf. Among the many people present at the mini-course was a little boy...I'd say no older than 7. He was running from hole to hole with his golf ball and club, inserting "his turn" into whichever group of people he wanted, whether or not they had finished. He followed us around for a couple of holes, and then proceeded to "join" the group of high school girls just one hole ahead of us. They stopped to indulge his erratic ball-hitting so that they could actually play when he was done.

I don't think any of us were annoyed or even mad at the kid; he's just a child. But in everyone's face, you could see the same question: "Where are your parents?" We were all gazing back and forth at the other holes to see if we could find an adult looking for his/her wayward child. Alas, nothing.

But not to worry! Closer to the end of the course, the mother was found! She poked her head in and asked the girls in front of us if her child was bothering them. They, of course, said no, to which the mother responded that if they told him to wait, he would wait. She then disappeared from whence she had come.

Leaving all of us to babysit her son.

Putting the teaching of respect for others' time and space on everyone except her.

Completely trusting everyone there to not kidnap her very outgoing child.

But it's hard to blame her. Parenting is hard. I don't know anyone who is/was ever really ready for it. I also believe that anyone who says they know how to raise children should be watched closely. Maybe this mother was tired and needed a break. I definitely understand that. We all need breaks sometimes. But in my opinion, going to a mini indoor amusement park/arcade and letting him run around wherever he wants isn't really the best way to go about it.

But that's not what got to me the most. What really got to me that night was that she was missing a moment to make memories with her child, to bond with him through play time.

It got to me because I've done the same thing to my daughter...I've had close calls and missed out on moments that will never come back. Sure, she's only 1 and won't remember, but I will. That moment will be mine. It will be cherished. If I miss it, it's gone.

I almost missed a moment a few months ago. I was on my laptop...blogging...and Bekah started to cry for my attention. I didn't look up, but I knew she wasn't in any mortal danger. So, I decided to finish my paragraph and then I'd see what was she wanted.

I finished, looked up, and there she was...

...sitting on the floor next to the couch I was sitting on...

...tears streaming from her big blue eyes...

...using all the energy her little arms could muster to hold up her favorite book.

All she wanted was for Mommy to cuddle with her on the couch and read to her.

But I had to finish my paragraph first.

Epic. Parenting. Fail.

If I don't touch this blog for a year, it will be exactly the same when I come back to it. The cursor will be right where I left it. Nothing will have expired, worn out, or disappeared.

If I miss a moment in my daughter's life, that's it. It won't come back. It's done. Finished. Over. Gone.

There are many times that my little 1-year-old is perfectly content to play and explore on her own, and that's okay. I don't have to follow her around every single second. Her slowly-growing independence gives me time to do some chores and whatnot. But when she wants to spend time with me, my personal hobbies need to go to the back burner.

After all, the time will come all too soon that "play time with mommy" will be met with an eye roll big enough to be seen from space. I won't be as important--or as fun--as her friends or that cute guy from chemistry class who's going to be at the party tonight.

Babies really don't keep. They grow. They won't stop and wait for us parents to finish that blog, facebook post, video game, book, load of laundry, or ESPN sports center.

One day--sooner than I think--my 1-year-old is going to be ready to move out on her own. Even if she wants to spend time with me and I with her, distance and just life in general may prevent that from happening.

So, the question that only I must consistently ask myself is: am I being the type of parent that I need to be? Will I be able to say that I tried my hardest to take advantage of every moment possible, or will I say that I thought my precious child would just wait while I finished what I was doing?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome fun, civil, and respectful discussion. See "The Blog and House Rules" for what that means to me.