Every day I die a little.

A piece of me is torn asunder as I watch my children grow up before my eyes.

This year was one of my daughter’s last year in elementary school. Where did the time go? I can’t even remember when she was a baby. Thankfully, I have videos and photos as a reminder, but that only puts salt in the wound.

I have two advertisements from Exclusive Resorts posted at my desk at work.

One is of a little girl around age 3, raising her hands as she walks in the waves of the ocean with her sisters and mother in the background. There’s a white time-line in front of her that starts with the words: “Walks” and then as you look down the timeline, it says “Walks down the aisle”.

The caption above the little girl reads: “You never really have kids. You only borrow them for a few years.”

Isn’t that the truth.

I know these growing years are a challenge, but when I look back, I really don’t want to have any regrets, but if I’m honest with myself, I already do.

There is just a finite amount of time that we as parents have with our children in their developmental stages. One day, they’ll be grown, living life and moving about the world with their own cares and responsibilities.

That doesn’t stop me from complaining and saying how tired I am right now. The ideal me wants to read books to my kids at night before they go to bed. The best version of me would never lose his temper and would always know what to say and do when his child is sad or upset. The man who is a great father, wouldn’t be harsh or demanding.

He’d be, patient, kind, loving, and understanding.

The second advertisement I have posted is a boy around age 8 and he’s at the beach, jumping from a picnic table, over his father who’s crouched down underneath the jumping boy.

There is a black timeline that starts: “1999” and then goes to the end and says: ‘Goes to college”.

The caption above the boy reads: One day you realize: you only have him for nine more summers. How will you spend them?”

Now, if you’re a sentimental guy like me when it comes to your kids, these two advertisements really get you thinking – What am I doing with my kids right now that they’re kids?

With all the hustle and bustle of life, homework, chores, family obligations and such, it’s really a challenge to remember that time is limited and these years won’t always be here.

I’m at the stage in child-rearing where toys aren’t really appealing to my kid like they once were. Gone are those days, where playing with dolls was their favorite past-time.

I took the oldest the other day to Target and asked if she wanted a toy, she turned me down and preferred an accessory for a cell phone instead.

Most of my friends have smaller aged children, so they’re in the throws of this phase of the children’s lives. In some ways, I’m envious of them. The moments, when you can carry your kid on your back or pick them up and swing them around are great moments.

Mine are gone.

 

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