Remember those carefree days when you were a kid? When the biggest decision you needed to make was whether you wanted chocolate or strawberry milkshake as your treat? And then, before you knew it, you were a teenager and worries were about how good your hairstyle was or if your clothes were fashionable enough. Varsity or studies brought with them stress over exams and getting a job once you were done. Fast forward to falling in love, getting married and then having children.
And before you know it, the little guy isn’t just cute anymore. He comes with bills for nappies and vaccines and clothes and food. It’s so easy to get caught up in the anxiety of life and all that needs to be done that we tend to forget about living and loving. Remember those times when the kids were toddlers and how much fun it was reading together, playing together, napping and even showering together. Remember how exciting it was when they each started talking and walking, how cute they were with their little shoes and new little personalities.
And before you know it, they’re almost done with primary school. How fast did the time go between breastfeeding and doing assignments? It was just the other day that we were learning to read and write and now we need to get 50% at least to pass. Remember how you used to wash them and lather them in lotion… now they lock the bathroom door and always have stylishly gelled hair but cracked, dry faces! Remember when all it took to settle a tantrum was a good hug and a tickle? Now the drop off at school leaves you with a fleeting air-kiss while running towards their friends.
And before you know it, you’ve spent most of the past few years not really experiencing any of the special moments because you were too caught up in the admin of things. Too worried about the party being perfect that you didn’t allow your daughter to help decorate the cake. Too caught up in running to extra murals on time that you didn’t listen to how his day was. Too preoccupied with work deadlines that you became snappy and short tempered with those that have nothing to do with the pressure you’re feeling.
Before you know it, they will have grown up, become teenagers, given you beans at that stage of their lives and moved onto another stage of life. Before you know it you’ve dedicated so much of your efforts into a job that took you away from your family or consumed your time that you missed half of the important moments in their lives. Isn’t it meant to be a means to an end, not your entire life’s devotion?
Because, before you know it, your life will have passed you by. You may leave this world early or they may leave this world before you. Your absence may have affected their whole lives negatively. Before you know it, your life has passed you by and you have not savoured it. Take some time to just be… nothing to do and nowhere to go… lie on the floor, close your eyes, let the winter sun stream through the windows and onto your face with the shadows of the trees moving, dancing across your eyelids. Listen to the kids’ laughter in the background. Remember all those amazing times and promise yourself that you will experience it all… before it’s too late.
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