Saturday, January 1, 2011

100 Years

THIS is my New Years Resolve.

I have found myself getting a lump in my throat more and more each time I look at my children. It is all going so fast. Most of the time, I want it to slow down. My mom asked how much time would be enough with them. I told her I can't have enough. I love our days together. I can honestly say I don't mind Clairvaux getting up at night. It is her year to do that. She is only a baby once in her lifetime so for now I will give her that little year of nursing in the night. I don't mind Dominic getting to have a bowl of cereal at night. Really, we only have 18 years to do that together and then he will be gone living his own life with his own family.

More and more, I am seeing how short this life is. I've watched my own father pass on. I watched John's grandfather pass on this year. I am watching before my very own eyes my children get taller, grow wiser, and mature into their own independent selves. As it should be, but it is still painful. I've always been aware of time with them probably too aware.

The lyrics of this song are really about how fast last goes and we really do only have such a short time here on earth.

"100 Years"

I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...
I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

I am going to live in the moment. I plan to celebrate today and only today. I will not look forward or backward. I don't want to be sad or anxious anymore about their future or our future. For heaven's sake, I can't change it. As Marilla said to Anne in Anne of Green Gables, "Man cannot Change what God has determined." God already has their lives drawn put. He knows the plans he has for them.

I was once visiting with my cousin about child rearing, discipline, and homeschooling. She said the most profound thing. She said it is so easy to get caught up in all their comings and goings. Which discipline tactic to use, what activities to get them involved in, how best to parent, etc., that we have forgotten our first job is to LOVE them and show them God's love. Novel. I love it.

That is what I will do. I can do that. I can do that well. This year, my focus is LOVE. I am going to focus less on "lesson teaching" and more on just loving them and speaking their language. I must be what I want them to be.

How do I plan to implement this practically? It is so easy as a mother to get into lecture mode or teaching mode. It seems that we always have to be teaching them something from everything. I want to focus more on the individual person and reaching into their heart to open it. If they fall, I want to ask if they are okay instead of telling them to shake it off. If they are upset about something, I want to empathize with their disappointment and realize that to a three-year-old not getting to wear the purple princess crown is devastating. If I want them to have good manners, First, I must have exceptional manners. If I want them to treat each other kindly and lovingly, I must treat them kindly and lovingly.

We must be what we want them to be.

I read a quote this week that said, "I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care." I loved this. It doesn't matter much if I can spout out facts to them about any topic until they know how much I care about them and have their best interest in mind.

In my eight humble years of parenting, what New Years advice can I pass on to you?
Come home. Literally. Come home. Your children will be grown and gone tomorrow and you can never get this time back. Be with them. Hold them. Read to them. Walk with them. Just sit with them. You will be a very fulfilled in your older years that you spent this time with the flesh of your flesh. Before I came across this song, my motto for this year was going to be "On my death bed..." For a month now, I would say that at the beginning of each sentence and then fill in the blank.

On my death bed, I will be glad I stayed home with my children when they were little.
On my death bed, I will be glad I delighted in my baby in the middle of the night and watched her hold her feet.
On my death bed, I will be glad we baked together and I didn't care if they made a huge mess.
On my death bed, I will be glad we colored together at the dining room table.
On my death bed, I will be glad I sat with my sick baby all day and held her. She needed me.
On my death bed, I will be so glad I loved John to the extreme in every part of our marriage. What a great reward! I say to myself a lot, "I want no man loved more than this man is loved." Of course, every wife should say that and feel that about her husband. My vocation is only to this man and I want to do it to perfection.
On my death bed, I will be glad I stayed up late to decorate a cake to surprise a certain child. Their face was so worth it.
On my death bed, I will be glad I had that conversation until 4:30 in the morning. I will rest in heaven.

I could go on and on. I once heard that we should parent with the end in mind. That is what we plan on doing. I am going to live today with the concept of the end in mind. Does that make sense? It does to me. Meaning, in 100 years from now I will be so glad that I lived that day beautifully.

What are you going to do with your 100 years? I plan on squeezing the heck out of life. I am going to. I am not going to miss a thing. I will be 34 years old this year. That means I've lived 1/3 of my life technically. I will see the beauty in everyday life and be so fulfilled.


  1. I love this.
    But I want to know your secret source for energy.

  2. I've been reflecting often on my children growing this holiday season. Which is actually not usual for me - I'm not the "hold on to every second" type. But I've been seeing my husband and his siblings in his mother's home and then seeing in my mind's eye the future, and hoping and praying that my own children will choose to come to my home to celebrate. (Reading Beth Streeter Aldrich's short story collection "Journey Into Christmas and Other Stories" probably didn't help.) And while that's a joyful thought, it also scared me to realize how quickly they grow and go and then that's all you can hope for from them...

    Anyway, I love your thoughts on focusing on the love you're giving. I've been hoping to spend this year attempting CALM and LOVE in my dealings with my chidren, so your thoughts were perfectly timed. Thank you!

  3. I especially love this because its exactly what I have been reflecting on. I think its weird that I cry out of sadness sometimes when I see how fast Gabriel is growing. I tell Gabe daily how I never want him to grow up. It is going by so fast. I make sure and have moments each day when I just stare at him and soak him up:)

    Thanks for your beautiful reflection!

  4. HI! I am such a fan of your blog (followed you through Going Natural Woman)...your posts are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your motherly wisdom!