I have been struck of late at how quickly time passes! In my family, we recently celebrated one year as a family. We adopted our son a year ago, so my husband and I reminisce each evening about what we were doing on that date in 2011. The memories we share are very dear to us, yet I have a bit of sadness in reflection as well because we will never get back those days! We look back and can’t imagine our lives any other way and we marvel at how much our son has grown and changed in just a year.
Thinking about the past year also challenges me to make the most of every day and not to waste a moment of the time I have with my son. Children are changing all the time, but in the early childhood years, the changes are most rapid. It seems like every day there are more phrases coming out of his mouth and more things he can do with confidence. My journal is full of stories of things he says and does that I don’t want to forget. He will most assuredly be doing something new and different before I can blink!
As a working mom, I do try to make the most of every moment we have together. As a teacher, I also try to consider my time with my students in the same way. Every child needs quality time devoted to him, but he also needs quantity time. I recently heard a quote from our pastor, Matt Williams, who said “it is within quantity time that quality moments occur”. I spend 8-10 hours a day with precious, bright, and curious children who deserve time with an adult who cares about them. I am willing and humbled to be one of those adults for my students. Time is fleeting, but time matters and impacts children forever. It is important to spend an extra minute listening to the end of a long dissertation from a four-year-old rather than cutting off a train of thought and moving on to the next thing. That minute may make more of a difference to that child than anything else done that day…and minutes compiled over time create respectful relationships that impact a child’s self-esteem and future relationships. Taking a few minutes to read an extra book or play another round of a game may be a critical time for building quality moments.
We can’t stop time, but we can be fully engaged with children in the moments we have with them. Children will also have plenty of time to be rushed through their lives. Make a commitment to shelter your young children from a hurried childhood. Spend time talking with, reading to, listening to, and laughing with the children in your care. We only get one chance to live each moment…live in each moment!