Life happens. Before we know it, the opportunities for developing the deep relationships we want with our children may pass us by. We may fear looking back with regret and wishing, “If only I had taken the time to do [this] or [that] with my child.”
I look at my eldest and realize I would trade all those planned activities for the opportunity to recoup lost time with my child. How often I have whispered, “Dear God, let me go back to those special days when my child was young and I was her whole world.”
We parents have a big responsibility and privilege to allocate the limited time we have with our children. Will we follow scripture’s advice and be the one to train our children? Or will we delegate tasks to the “experts”? Will we schedule them down to the minute without opportunity for them to develop the relationship with us they so long for?
As I reflected my own struggle with priorities, I penned this poem from a child’s perspective.
The Time Commodity
By Sara Broyhill Anderson
I know who you are though I’m a few days old;
I hear the beat of your heart as I snuggle in close;
You love to whisper my name and breathe me in.
The times we’re apart are few.
I feel you.
I’m toddling around now on my own two feet;
Giggling with joy at my budding independence;
Your presence is the source of my bravado.
You catch me when I fall.
I trust you.
Hand in hand we explore the world;
Bake cookies, build sandcastles.
You teach me the difference between right and wrong.
You are the source of my understanding.
I rely on you.
These are the days of boo-boos and kisses;
Stories and cuddles;
Your firm but gentle hand guides my way.
Nothing can replace you in my life.
I love you.
But all too soon…
Your parting glance meets my tear-filled eyes;
My heart sinks as you leave;
The noise in the room drowns out your good-bye.
You long to get your life back.
But I long for you.
The days are flying by;
Our plans for baking cookies and building sandcastles postponed;
There are more important things to accomplish.
You choose to set me up in the world.
But I choose you.
We schedule activities down to the minute;
The experts can make me competitive;
Time and resources we delegate for best results.
We’re told not to miss an opportunity.
But I miss you.
Striving to conform to society’s values;
We run the race of life never satisfied;
We work to fulfill the sinking void inside.
We’re advised to take cues from the world.
But I take my cues from you.
Older now, I cannot satisfy the craving in my heart;
I think back to the days we shared time together;
Now I share my life with you on social media.
You like my posts.
But I like you.
I don’t want success or popularity as much as you think;
My secure foundation starts with you teaching me the Word of God;
Disciple me in the way I should go.
You need me to make it in the world.
But I need you.