Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Time of Our Lives

Today my MOMS Club friends came over for our monthly book club meeting. We were discussing The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, a book about women who have been out of the work force for about ten years to raise their children and are weighing their usefulness at home now that the kids are in school vs. returning to their dormant careers. The book was horrible and lacked continuity and plot, but the topic was an emotional one for me, and the conversation we had about the book was great.

In high school you think, “this is the time of my life, nothing will ever be greater than this moment, these friends and these memories”. Then you go to college and you think, “now this is it. Living away from my parents, becoming an adult, traveling, learning and meeting people from all walks of life, this is the time of my life.” Then you get married and you think, “this love, this person, this bond, this is the time of my life”. I’ve now come to realize that THIS moment right now, raising my children is truly the time of my life.

To be sure there are major sacrifices to be made when you have kids. Your marriage (at least in my case and that of some of my friends) isn’t the primary focus any more; the kids are. The things you experience with small children in the house is like nothing else on Earth and nothing can prepare you for how miraculous, mystifying, terrifying, stressful, emotional and wonderful it is. Children have a different agenda than adults; their agenda is to have fun, and to be happy. We could learn so much from them. Everything from potty training to learning to ride a bike they learn from you, and it is a chance for you to discover the world all over again.

On top of that you are raising the future of the universe. Will your children grow up to be compassionate, kind, gentle, fierce, angry, content? Will they be a professional athlete, a teacher, a nurse, a senator, a mother, a father, married, single, happy? So much of that depends on you and the job that you do as a parent. This is it folks, your one shot at creating the kind of person you want your child to be and I daresay there is no more important job on Earth.

I know when I am old and gray I will look back on this time as the time of my life. High School was fun, our days as a young married couple were special, but this, this is the time of my life, and I need to remember that and soak it all up. Because, once these days are gone, there is no getting them back, and I know I my only regret in life will be if I don’t do this right and I let it pass me by without enjoying every moment of it. To all you mommies and daddies out there, enjoy the time of your life, because that time is today!