Listen Up Parents, Tempis Fugit

Hey parents, young and old…new and experienced…parents-to-be and those of us who are…

Listen up.  I have something to share.

I know, you are probably wondering why you should listen to me.  Don’t blame you.  I would be asking myself the same question if I wasn’t on this end of the message.

Trust me…no I am not a politician or a lawyer…but trust me on this one.

I don’t have all/any answers.  I don’t even know all of the questions.  But I do know this…ENJOY IT!

That’s right.  No matter where you are in your stage of parenting or parenting-to-be, relish the moment.  I wanted to say relish every moment, but that would be a little too difficult to comprehend.  So, let yourself enjoy it.

Three boys…”My Three Sons”…is what Diana and I have been blessed with.  Through every step it has been an adventure.  Of course there are times I did not “relish”…at the time.  But I do now!  With a smile and even a bit of laughter.  The principal’s office…being cut from a team…police…late night phone calls…car accidents…did I say police? Adventures…all of them.  Memories…all of them.  Topics at family gathering…Ha-ha…you bet.

So, to all parents, and it is never too late to start, begin to record the events.  Make a “record” of things that are special…things you want to remember…or just “things”.  With today’s technology, there are all kinds of means for you to do this.  iPhones…iCameras…iPads…iRemember…WordPress blogging…and if you are technologically challenged there is always the iPencil and iJournal.

This comes from experience…not age.  For years I wrote in a journal.  Just stuff.  Before blogging was around, hell before the internet was around.  And I still have these musings…and I am glad I do.  I review them on occasion.  They make me smile.  They get me all choked up.  They take me to laughter.  They take me to a place where I have been before, and this is allows me to return to that place.  All good things.  Good memories.  Important stuff…to me anyway.

So parents…don’t wait.  Tempis fugit.  Time flies.  And while I am offering up suggestions, here are a few things that I wrote, years ago, that might give you an idea of the types of things am blabbering about…

  • While at a Shriner’s Circus parade in 1982-83, standing on the corner of downtown St Louis, in a crowd of people, the Clydesdales, pride of St Louis and A-B, came parading by…and all of a sudden, our little angel Blake blurts out…“their butts stink”!  A little while after the Clydesdales passed, the football Cardinal cheerleaders came struttin’ by.  Again, the age of innocence struck and Blake exclaimed for all to hear…“Hey Dad, look at the “Woo-wees!”
  • Coming home from one of Blake’s basketball practices, Drew asked me why Blake’s coach had no fingers on his hands.  I said I wasn’t sure why, to which Drew added that perhaps he was in an accident.  After a few minutes, Drew added, “maybe he was born that way.  God may have made him that way.  You know Dad, God loves us all and he makes us each very special.  Perhaps that is God’s way of making coach special”.  Wow, here is a 6-year-old who sees an adult with no fingers, and through his eyes he says that is God’s way of making him special.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all could see things through the eyes of a 6-year-old?
  • Listening to Tyler’s phone conversation with his friends is a real treat.  80% giggles.  10% make-believe, or made up stuff.  10% honest truth (like “I gotta go potty”) The other day he called one of his friends to see if he could play.  After the giggles and “Ninja Turtle” updates, Tyler got a perplexed look on his face.  He turned to Diana and said,“Mom, Neil just told me he loves me!”  Turning back to the phone and his conversation, Tyler said,“Neil, I am your friend, not your mother!”  Oh, well, it was a nice effort Neil.
  • Right now (this was written in the early 90’s) every male child from 3-9 yrs is engrossed with the Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Tyler is no exception.  Tonight he was trying to describe a figure he wanted for Christmas…it was one of Donatello.  He, Donatello, is dressed in a trench coat and fedora, similar to Humphrey Bogart, as Rick, in Casablanca.  When trying to describe this to us Tyler said, it is like “Here’s looking at you, jerk”. Good effort Tyler.  Sorry about that, Bogie.
  • Here is a home-made birthday card I received from Drew: (front) Happy Berthday to a Speshel Dad ohs grat!  (inside) xoxoxo I hope yore Berthday is the best Berthday ever.  Now this DaD is the best DaD becuse he taks you plasis he gevs you things.  he is the best.  love hugs and keses`xoxo love Drew.
  • 1-15-91 Blake and I are on the way home from a Blues hockey game.  (Blues 7, Caps 3)  It is the eve of what will be known as the Persian Gulf War.  Saddam Hussein.  Kuwait.  George H Bush.  The night is still.  There is a tenseness in the air.  We both feel it.  Fear.  Concern. Unknown.  Blake suggests we pray.  And we do.  Amen.

Tempis Fugit.

Time flies.  Very quickly.

Whenever I learn of someone who is expecting their first child, I always seem to tell them the same thing…”Enjoy the time.  It goes by fast”.  I probably sound a bit goofy trying to give someone some sage advice.  But it does go by fast.  And the time you have with your children, your loved ones, your spouse and your friends is limited.  We just don’t know how limited.

So, enjoy it.  Record the moment.  Write about what happened, what was said or done.  Take pictures.  Videos.  Blog.  Whatever works for you…do it.  Don’t wait.  The options are there.  And so is the material.

I have “saved” some wonderful memories.  Some that I may have forgotten if I had not written them down.

So, I hope my advice was worth this read.

There is a 17th century poet, Robert Herrick, who summarized my feelings on this in his poem,  To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time,

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,

Ol’ time is still a-flying;

And this same flower that smile today

Tomorrow will be dying.


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Perfect timing on this thoughtful and heartfelt post. I am forwarding this to my nephew, who just had his first child yesterday.


  2. Now that I am getting ready to send my youngest off to college in the Fall, I have lots of pictures but wish I had the foresight and discipline to keep a journal. Thanks for sharing- I really enjoyed! Be well.


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