I’m feeling nostalgic today.
You see, my first baby is turning 10. TEN. Double-digits. Practically a tween. And those early years? They’re over. Gone. A part of my history … and hers.
Those days of taking in goodies to preschool for her birthday. Gone. Days of singing silly songs and reading funny little books and watching princess movies after Daddy goes to work. Gone. Playing made up games and dress up games and Polly Pockets for hours while her baby brother sleeps. It’s over. And even singing before bed — my sweet little girl scrunching closed her eyes so I’ll keep singing “Jesus Made the Little Ones Like Me, Me, Me.” Touching her little nose on each “me.” It’s over. Aghh. It’s awful to think about.
And yet, just when you think you can’t stand it, there is a silver lining. And it’s a good one.
I don’t sing to her before bed anymore, but we do belt out Taylor Swift together on her karaoke machine. I don’t read her silly little rhyming books, but she loves it when I read the books she’s reading, and then we get to discuss them. We don’t “play” dress up, but we do it for real. She helps me decide what looks good for going out to dinner, and I take her shopping for that perfect birthday outfit. And I still get to sneak in late at night and kiss her smooth, perfect cheek. And if she wakes up, she just smiles at me.
Yes, the silver lining is good.
Memories. When ten more years have gone by, memories of this sweet little girl is all I’ll have.
That’s why we’re in the business of making memories. You know, we only get to see these two special, perfect little lives grow up ONCE. And our oldest is more than halfway to being grown up. It’s so cliché to even say it, but it goes SO FAST.
And so Jason and I, we don’t save as much as we should. We don’t pay off debt as quickly as we could. We plan for the future, but lightly, realizing that these, THESE are the best years. These are the ones to enjoy. And so, yes, even if money is tight, we’ll take the kids to a hotel on a random Friday night in January so they can swim to their hearts’ content. And no, we’d never miss the chance to take them somewhere to see something, even if we had to borrow money to do it.
Making memories — it’s what life’s for, what life’s about. Money is just money, but memories, they LAST. And I certainly don’t want to reach retirement some day and regret that I didn’t soak up every opportunity to make memories with my kids.
We’re privileged to be the memory keepers for these two little ones. It’s not a job I take lightly. I want to expose my kids to a boat big enough to live on and eat on, and the ocean, and Disney World!, and the French Quarter, and whole other countries, and skiing, and snorkeling, and buildings that are so high you can’t see the top.
You see, both Jason and I had that kind of childhood. Our parents wanted us to see everything. Sacrifices were made for memories, over and over again. Our worlds got bigger and bigger and bigger. And we want that for our kids. It’s our responsibility, and it’s our greatest joy.
Not for one moment would I ever want to miss out on their eyes as they see new things. We’re there. We’re all in. For keeps.
Ten more years, and most of it will be over. Here’s to the best ride of my life.