Guest post by Terri Takata-Smith
Today a Facebook memory popped up in my newsfeed of my yougest son’s Kindergarten graduation. I can’t believe that was just last year. I mean two years ago…wait…2013…FOUR years ago?! What? How did that happen? Warp speed? < Ugh > Tomorrow is his last day of fourth grade and my oldest son’s last day of…SIXTH grade? Are you kidding me? Next year we are going to have a…TEENAGER!
The other day I saw commercial for an exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Denver that I thought looked cool. My very next thought was that my kids probably wouldn’t think it was too cool. I then tried to remember the last time we visited the museum. I have no idea when that was – I can’t even remember! If I would’ve known that the last time we went there would be the last time we were ever going to go there, I would have tried harder to remember every detail. That’s when I started thinking…and what I’m thinking, I’m sharing with you.
Somewhere between diapers and competitive soccer teams, my boys grew up. While I was busy submitting Kindergarten applications – that were more intense than my college applications – they were apparently discovering hair gel. Do you see where I’m going here? One day, I am dropping them off at school trying to pry their hands from mine and the next day, they are dabbing instead of hugging me!
I can’t stop this “growing up” thing from happening, but I can sure do a better job treasuring every final moment. I’m starting this immediately. Soon we are heading off to Disneyland, and for all I know, this might be the last time we go there as a family. My mom and dad took me nearly every summer when I was little until… <UGH> I can’t remember! I don’t remember the very last time I went to Disneyland with my parents. I don’t remember the very last roller coaster I rode with my dad or the very last time I went on the Pirates of the Caribbean with my mom. Now that they are older, I probably won’t ever have the opportunity to go back with them and thinking about that kind of sucks.
Somehow in our day-to-day lives, we have to remember that we might be experiencing a lot of never-again-moments and we better start appreciating them. Do I like driving to soccer / baseball / track practice every night of the week. No. But, someday in the not–so-distant future, I won’t be driving them anymore. Do l like staying up late making a paper mache grasshopper so it looks like a 5 year-old made a paper mache grasshopper? No. But soon, they won’t have to make paper mache bugs anymore! Does my husband like to go to Disneyland? Ummmm, does any husband like to go to Disneyland? Nooooo. But this year, I’m going to encourage him to make this memory count not only for himself, but for his boys. Because, one day, in the not-so-distant future, they might not remember the last time either…and the thought of that makes me really sad!
So, my words of wisdom: there’s no day like today to start remembering the final moments. Slow down; put your phones down and enjoy every day – trust me, the older you get the faster they go by!