Your kids get bored. They want to get where you’re going. They just can’t wait until they can get their driver’s license, until they can move out, until Christmas comes. Impatient. Frustrated. That feeling in Springsteen’s Born to Run–gotta get out while you’re young.
We still have a bit of that feeling ourselves. We can’t wait until our kids are walking, until school starts (or ends for summer), until they can drive themselves, until the “terrible twos” or the hormones of puberty have ended.
How awful this is if you really think about it! In his book Travels with Epicurus, the writer Daniel Klein recalls a formative moment: “I remember one long-ago evening, on an overcrowded train to Philadelphia, hearing a young woman moan to her mother, ‘God I wish we were there already!’ Her white-haired mother replied eloquently, ‘Darling, never wish away a minute of your life.’”
We should hold onto this advice ourselves and try to teach it to our children. How many years do we get with them? And we’re going to wish them away? They get to be 6, 7, 8, 16, 18, 21 once. We’re going to wish it away? Because we think something better lies in the future?
Now is now, it can never be anything else wrote Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s all we have. We should never wish a minute of it away. Not even when we’re tired, when we’re excited about what’s next, when we’re frustrated with how things are going. We never get this moment back. When you find yourself rushing, remind yourself, as we’ve said, where you are rushing towards. And remember that someday you would do anything to get back here to this very thing you are wishing away.