Last weekend, my husband spoke at our church (and did a great job by the way...go honey!). Anyway, he talked about using wisely one of the most valuable God given resources that we all possess...TIME. He read the following poem (author unknown) that really spoke to me as a mother.
When we moved last year, we were so blessed to be able to buy a home that fits our family perfectly. The funny part is that it happens to be smack dab in the middle of a retirement community. We are truly some of the only people on the block that are younger than 70's.
I was hesitant at first and told my husband that there was no way we could move there because they would all think we were crazy; moving in with four small kids and all. However, it's been a blast. The girls have inherited several great grandparents. They are kind of like little celebrities. We get homemade cookies and all kinds of special treats on holidays.
One day, we went over to our next door neighbor's house to take her a thank you card the girls had made her for her home baked cookies. When we walked in, I said to her, "wow, I can only dream of my house being this spotless." Eating dinner all alone, she responded, "oh someday it will be and you won't like it one bit".
My heart sank right there. Here she is, in the last chapter of her life and spending it alone. She once had toys sprawled over the floor. I'm sure she had peanut butter smeared in odd places like we do. She once had Mt. Laundry in her house. Those days were probably challenging for her at times, as well.
Yet, she treasures that chapter in life above all others. She misses other voices, the pitter patter of small feet and the companionship of their father.
I know we can't play dolls all day long. I know we can't let the chores go and the dishes pile to the ceiling. In fact, I'm really working on systems to keep the home in better order. It's definitely an area I'm trying to become better at.
Yet, I do know that these are precious times. Moments that we cannot get back. The days and weeks are flying by and I'm reminded as I constantly pack away boxes and change the girls' clothes to the next size. I don't want them to remember mommy always putting them off for something else. I don't want my most frequent words to be "hold on" or "later honey".
I want them to cherish our time together. To remember that mommy made them a priority and showed interest in the things they are proud to show me and the playtime they so treasure.
Our neighbor is right, I won't like it one bit.
How do you balance quality time with your children (no matter what age) and your "to do list"?