When you were in my belly, Daddy and I would talk about the things that we would do with you, wonder the places you will go, and the things you will experience, who you will be, and how you will change the world. I think most parents do this as they patiently, or impatiently (me) wait for your arrival. I know we did.
However, soon after you were born, I began to wonder, what your world would be like, and what the world you live in will be like as you grow. My world changed drastically as I grew up, and everyone of my generation. We are the last generation to know what life was like before cell phones, tablets, Siri, Ecko, and whatever else there is, the list seems endless these days.
We are the last generation to play outside in the summer until the streetlights came on. Drawing or making bases in the street to play kickball, was the BEST thing to do in the summer! Sure we had video games and played those too, but they weren't connected to others around the world like they are today. We played Super Mario Brothers, and duck Hunt, not Minecraft and Call of Duty.
We know what records are, cassette tapes, cd's and having the coolest stereo was everything growing up. Now you know what pandora, spotify, amazon music, and you tube are before you even hit elementary school, and you recognize the icons too. One could argue that its emergent reading and a good thing, but sometimes I'm not so sure about that. These items I'm speaking of are ancient to you.
You will grow up in a world where everything is at your fingertips, the internet will be part of your life, and I'm pretty sure you already have an idea what google is. Growing up we had to wait to dial up to the internet, I know, you are asking "what does that even mean?" "You mean you can't just look on your phone?"
There was no rules in my house growing up that there were no cell phones at dinner, because simply there were no cell phones. I know crazy right? Then when cell phones did become popular, we didn't have these things like Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter. I think the closest comparable thing that we had was our nextel, which bleep bleeped to alert you a friend wanted to talk. Not a notification on what someone is eating for dinner, or their latest selfie. The biggest excitement on our phones was Snake, and we text using T-9 word.
It's a scary world out there, I see people losing their sense of reality. What really matters in life. They are so caught up in capturing the moment with their matching outfits, latest vacation, or delicious meal.
It seems as if our society has lost touch with the sense of NOW. When in reality, NOW is all we ever have. We aren't promised tomorrow, yesterday is gone, so all YOU will EVER HAVE is NOW. Society seems to want this instant gratification, which is a motivating factor to why everything they do must be posted. That is fine, but only as long as you remember what its like to be here, and be present. You can be next to someone and still not be present, and that my little one's scares me.
So, My Hope for you is that you grow up in a world knowing all of these things are privileges. That nothing compares to time spent with family creating memories.
I hope that I can teach you how to be present, and mindful of the life you live, and navigate this world. I hope that you learn what real relationships look like, and can be.
I hope you know that the things you see on the internet are only two dimensional, and that LIFE is three dimensional.
I hope you understand that things will be hard, yet it is better to vent to a friend or perhaps me, than air it out on social media.
I hope that you understand the VALUE of literally having everything at your fingertip, but never take it as a sense of entitlement.
I hope that you know love, compassion and empathy for others.
I hope that in this scary world where everyone is living for the next moment, or talking about what happened in the past moment, that you, my dears know how to live in the PRESENT Moment.
I often have a blog post ringing my head when it comes to my kids. You know the one about how they grow so fast, and washing their hair (Check it out Here) How its all over in the blink of an eye, and they are grown. I think to myself about how my own father must feel with the fact that I just turned 29 for the 4th time (I am 32), and that he has two granddaughters. Or the fact that my brother's are about to turn 27 (they are twins). how does this all happen????
How does the time fly by so damn fast. One could say with that cliche, that "time flys when your having fun", or "life is what happens when you are busy making plans".
Truth of the matter is, is that none of us are gonna come out of this life alive. Not one of us! Each and everyone of us will pass on one day, we hope later, and we hope we get to do all the things on our bucket list. Truth be told that may not happen for all of us. I read countless motivational articles on the internet, and I've read one about asking the elderly what they regret most in their lives. NO matter which article you read the message is the same, they regret not spending more time with family and loved ones, or truly enjoying the things in life that matter.
In my own life I have seen life been stripped from families that leave a giant hole, where people are constantly wishing for one more day, one more hug, one more kiss. The pain that remains in the way we all take this life for granted thinking that we will have one more day. BUT we are humans, and we are reinforced by the fact that each day we do wake up and start over, which is why we live this way. WE can however try to be more mindful, and present and live in the NOW. Which is something I definitely try to do.
Anyway my point is that when it comes to my family and my life I TRY my hardest to live a life full with love and memories, and creating traditions and things to enjoy. When my spirited 3.5 year old is driving me nuts, I remind myself this is a phase. Or when she wakes up at 2am wanting to come into my bedroom, I remind myself that for whatever the reason is she needs me at this moment in time (and she won't be doing this when she is in college, well at least I hope). I'm constantly looking at my almost 5 month old baby trying to take in her ever changing facial features, and what she's learning each day, as I know that in a few years from now she will probably look entirely different from what she does now. I try to be present in their lives, as much as they are present in mine. To our children we are all they have, we are their life. Sure they may go to school, or have a few friendships and such, but they don't really start building real relationships until they are in grade school, perhaps even middle school. Even then though, we are still the main focus in their lives. Sure we have other things in our lives, work, jobs, relationships, bills and so on, but our kids have just us!! So I try to remember how important it is to be present in their lives, because we are the supporting actor/actress and they are the stars in their story. We hope that they grow up to become good and well adjusted adults in this world, navigating society with ease and grace, but it starts with us. How do we do this you ask, it's simple we give them the best gift of all that we can give. Something so special, no one else can give them. WE give them our love, our attention, but most importantly our TIME.
So when life gave me an extra day on 2/29 and I woke up at 6am to my alarm clock and looked over and both my babies were cuddled so peacefully in my bed, I decided my workout could wait until later, my coffee could wait, and everything else I had to do that day could WAIT! I was being presented with a gift of an extra day in the year, a day to cuddle my girls and snuggle them. I was given the gift of more TIME, so I took advantage. They may not remember it 10, 15 or 20 years from now, hell they probably won't even remember it by the end of the week. However, I surely will because years from now, days like this will most likely be nonexistent, and when I want to cuddle and snuggle with them, they either won't want to, or won't even be here.