3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
I came to the office today with the stark realization that my kids are growing up way too fast. This realization did not come without warnings though as myriads of people, with a twinkle in their eye, told me to cherish each moment because “before you know it Robbie they are gone.” Cue Harry Chapin “Cats in the Cradle” song and the tears will flow like a river. I find myself cherishing the little intricacies of my kids’ lives as if their graduation date were tomorrow.
A couple examples.
Our church does not have services on Sunday nights and so that leaves our family a full day to spend with each other. The humidity was low as was the temperature and so I decided to mow the lawn. I get a few lines up and down and I look and my oldest son had grabbed the weed eater and started edging without me asking him to do it. Then I had to change the oil in my truck and he came up and said, “Can I help you daddy?” We changed the oil together and I fielded probably twenty questions about what we were looking at underneath the truck. Nothing magical happened but it was a moment that I will cherish for a while.
This morning I dropped off my kids at school and there are many Mondays when they leave my truck kicking and screaming. Today they left in an amazing mood and my youngest son (who is always the last one out of the truck) got out of the truck smiled and said, “I love you.” I responded with, “I love you more” to which he responded with, “I love you the most.” Then, after the traffic folks gave me the all clear to leave, I drove off slowly looking at my kids with a proud glance at how amazing they are and my oldest daughter turned around, looked at me, smiled and waved.
Why am I sharing this with you? Parenting is tough. There are so many instances I can share (my kids will eventually share) where I am impatient, quick-tempered and just plain dumb as a parent. But I am starting to cherish all of the wonderful moments that are slowly slipping by. If raising my kids is like simmering food in a crock pot then I am close to the second half.
So now I cherish the moments when I am cleaning out the mulch bed because in it are water bottles, small cars, footballs, baby dolls and every other small toy imaginable (and my Yeti tumbler). I cherish the moment when I am scrubbing the couch because my daughter spilled all of her cereal for the 50th time. I cherish the moment when my son hits a golf ball into the back of a neighbor’s truck window.
The Psalmist is right: Children are a heritage.