I read this on my FB feed and thought it was wonderful. So for all you young parents out there here is some encouragement. Take time to sit and play, and discover, and talk. You'll have plenty of time for all the other stuff later…trust me. :)
I want to read your words before they are kept under lock and key—for your eyes only.
I want to watch you laugh and be silly before I am no longer your favorite audience.
I want to admire your choice in color combination and accessories before my opinion on fashion is politely ignored.
I want to listen to your nighttime secrets before the bedroom door shuts, and I’m standing outside listening to your favorite song drift out from beneath the crack.
I want to look into your eyes and ask, “What’s on your mind?” before I am no longer privy to your hopes, dreams, worries and fears.
I want to say yes before your invitations are reserved for people your own age.
I want to know you,
Listen to you,
Before things change, and you're not my little girl anymore.
With each passing year, the map of my child’s life expands to reveal a new section of uncharted territory. And although it might be tempting to retreat to separate paths, separate rooms, and separate screens—I must stay the course. This means I must accept the rare and important invitations that sound like this:
“Hey, Mom, check this out.”
“I want to show you something, Mom.”
“Wanna see what I’ve been doing?”
I must hear things that are not going to be easy to hear.
I must answer questions that are not easy to answer.
I must love a child that may not always be easy to love.
But if I make a conscious effort to accept his invitations now, perhaps I will still receive them later; I can only try.
Whether I am in familiar or unfamiliar territory with him, one thing remains constant: he is my child, and I will love him as much as humanly possible in the time that I am given.
And on the days I feel like I’m staring at a stranger, I will try more than ever to be ALL there—because in the midst of our busy, media-saturated, overscheduled lives, taking time to really know someone is the ultimate act of love.
© Rachel Macy Stafford 2013