perspective, it seems like it went just that fast. It seems like my parenting days were over before they had just begun. If there is anything I would share with Meridith and Jennie, and any other young parents like them, it would be to try to see their lives from this perspective. Sometimes, when you are in the midst of parenting, particularly during difficult times or struggles, you think it will never end. Believe me… it will, and you will look back with a desire to do more. You will think of things you had planned to do, but never did and things you wished you had done. You will second guess if you did the right thing and sometimes wish you had done more. Before you know it, the story of your life as an active parent of youngsters is over.
by Dick Buckingham
One of the things we promised you when we began this blog over a year ago is that we would give you thoughts and insights from a broad range of our experiences. Our contributors include Meridith, who just recently was blessed with her fourth girl. She is a young parent dealing with the struggles of being a working mom. Her perspective on family and life is different from Jennie, whose oldest son just entered seventh grade and the often-feared teenage years. These are yet to be tested waters by Meridith. I, on the other hand, am in a much different life stage. All three of my boys are grown and living on their own. All are married – the last, just this past weekend – and I am enjoying the privileges of being papa to two wonderful grandkids with a third on the way.
I have been through (and survived, though not with all of my hair intact) what both Meridith and Jennie are experiencing first hand. Yet I remember these times like they were yesterday. Indeed, they were just yesterday.
This week my oldest will turn 30 years old. It has become a time of reflection for me as his dad. I remember the day he was born – what joy we felt! We were so blessed to have such a beautiful son! But it was not without its challenges. He sustained injury in the birth process and we experienced one of the most frightening times in our lives as he required brain surgery the day after he was born. God was faithful to us and he not only survived, but thrived!
I remember well the significant moments of his life, like his first steps and words. I remember him attending preschool and then on to kindergarten. He was an energetic young lad and we worked diligently to guide and correct his steps. It seems like just a few days ago when he moved from elementary to junior high. Oh, those were the days! Then on to high school and the dalliances of a teenager! We both survived me teaching him how to drive and how to handle himself around young ladies. I remember how proud I was the day he graduated. It was not the first time I wept on his account, nor has it been the last. Then on to college and he quickly demonstrated his ability for working with computers, graduating with honors. Another proud day! In the midst of all of this, he learned what it meant to work hard and to be faithful to a task no matter what. This characteristic earned him a good job at a place where he loves to work. The day he moved out on his own was another day the tears fell from my face. This past Saturday, he took a beautiful wife and he is beginning a life and family of his own.
Yes, I have covered his life thus far in just a few short sentences. I did that with purpose, because from my
I would also encourage parents not to put off until tomorrow something that is important when it comes to your kids. I remember when JJ moved out of the house, I panicked because I felt there were so many things I still needed to teach him, that my job as his dad was not complete. Clearly that was an emotional response and I continue in the role as his dad and build into his life to this day, but we never want to look back and say I wish I had done more. Take every opportunity you can to teach, train and direct the lives of your kids. What the Bible says about training up a child in the way he should go is very true. When he is old, he will not depart from it.
Finally, relish in every moment of being a parent. There are times for every mom or dad that are not very pleasant. There are many scary things that happen and you may not know what to do in every circumstance. But look for joy in each situation realizing that even the worst is only for a time. There will come a day, and very soon, when you will look back with longing remembrance on the days when you were the parent.
As for me, Lilly and Isaac, soon-to-be-born Ezekiel, and all the other beautiful grand kids that God blesses me with will have the loving attention of their papa every moment I can be with them. I am going to treat this new stage of my life with all the energy and strength that I can, for I know it, too, will soon be gone. Thank you God, for a lifetime of joys!