One Writer’s Musings
Recognizing a moment in time can be like a light going on in my mind–not the bulb-over-head variety, more the “A-Ha” epiphany variety. Having four children, I have learned to treasure stolen moments of quality, one-on-one time I get with each child (and also my husband–not that he’s like my fifth child or anything).
When they were younger, it was easier to tune out all else (laundry, writing, reading), and look into my child’s eyes as I fed them. And just sit there, watching him or her eat while he or she watched me back. But even then it was hard to unplug and empty my mind of all worries and simply just be.
The arrival of each child brought more joy but less chances for one-on-one time. As they’ve grown and become more involved and social, there are even fewer opportunities, but I catch them.
Thank you God for this moment in time with my daughter…
When they were first born, I thanked God silently. Then I started saying it out loud, maybe during feedings or when we went for a walk, until it became a habit. It wasn’t a big deal when the kids were infants and toddlers, but then came that awkward moment when they were suddenly older, understood more, and simply too cool. They still “tolerated” me saying it, but if there was any chance of being overheard, it was, Seriously, Mom! Whatever!
With my oldest entering college this fall, I realize even more how time is fleeting and encouragement is so important. Even if the kids seem too cool, they do care. My high school graduate may look like a man, and my second son might be all that, but acknowledging special moments as they happen builds them up, lets them know they are important, encourages them, and reminds me to treasure every moment (even if I’m playing chauffeur to a bunch of ingrates).
One recent morning as I drove my son to Football Dawn Patrol (capitals intentional), he was tired and pushing me away, “Don’t mess with me Mom!”, two syllables on Mo-om, attitude dripping. But I said anyway:
“I love you, I’m so proud of you for persevering and going every morning to Dawn Patrol.”
A thriving football player, through him I have come to know the world of high school sports, where they take football very seriously.
What he said next surprised me. In a joking-but-not-really voice he said, “For my games you never come to!”
It was true. I hadn’t gone to many games, which was one of the reasons I have gone back to working at home. And I told him that. To share in Milestone Moments—big and small.
My own Milestone Moment
As of March 31, 2014, I left my editing job as middle-grade acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz, a division of Zondervan, an imprint under HarperCollins Christian Publishing, in order to pursue my own writing, regain family balance, and to reclaim my sanity. I believe God led me to Zondervan, and since then, as I have ventured on this new path in my journey, God has reassured me that this is where I’m supposed to be. (How? You might ask. Ah, those are God Moments. Look for them on ChildressInk.com.) In the few short months since I have been “working at home,” I have gone to games, school events, and field trips, which has given me great joy. I have been present for graduations, first jobs, driver’s ed, and I was there when my oldest daughter entered a new season in her life, transitioning from a child to a woman.
On this night of nights, as I hugged her, she asked, “Are you crying?”
I wasn’t. Then. “Crying for you,” I said, joking (but not really).
And at that moment I thanked God, because right then a light went off in my mind and my heart, and I knew this was where God wanted me to be. So i continue to thank God, out loud, and yes sometimes I feel awkward, but each time I thank God for my time together with the people I love, I see them stand a little taller and smile, maybe, if only to themselves, thinking I don’t see it as they turn their heads.
And with that, I encourage you to treasure every moment, today and every day. When times are tough, chances are you can find one thing to be thankful for. Thanks for reading this writer’s musings.
(PS. The next day I gave my daughter a copy of The Ultimate Girls’ Body Book, by doctors Walt Larimore and Mari Sánchez, a book I edited while at Zondervan. You will also learn that I am a shameless marketer, and I believe in helping my fellow writers. In this industry, we have to stick together.)