Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal

I picked up my pillbox this morning and was surprised to see that I was almost out. I thought I just filled it up. Then as I was changing the toilet paper an “aha” moment surfaced.

Time moves way too fast these days. It’s a bit like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

Is this the little girl i carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older,
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?
Sunrise sunset, sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly flow the days,
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers,
Blossoming even as they gaze…
Sunrise sunset, sunrise, sunset!
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears…
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears…

Too often parents pay more attention to their jobs, their hobbies, their friends and many other distractions. I urge you to understand clearly that while your children are at home, that time is not a dress rehearsal. You will get no time for do-overs.

Please consider:

  • With the little ones. Participate in bath time and bedtime. Make it a special time. Sing songs, read books, tell stories and when it’s time to go to sleep, pray with the children…teaching them to pray, and then cup each child’s face and say these words, “I love you very much. You are special.”
  • Consider curtailing some of your golf outings, sports attendance, shopping, working over time and other things that get in the way of you spending time with your children and spouses.
  • When you go to Home Depot or the grocery store, take a child with you and just talk. Share with them what you are buying and why…get their ideas.
  • Turn off electronic devices and play with your children…full attention on them. No distractions. Have device free days.
  • Make memories rather than giving gifts. When our eldest son was 11 years old we made a trip to Breckenridge, CO and taught the kids to ski instead of putting up a Christmas tree and buying gifts. That memory has lasted longer than the “stuff” we could have given them.
  • Dads have a date with each of your daughters at least once a month when they get old enough to feed themselves. Show them how a gentleman treats a lady.
  • Dad’s expose your sons to sporting events, fishing, hunting, how to use shop tools, change a tire and service a car.
  • Mom’s take your little girls to have their hair and nails done…you know…girl stuff.
  • Mom’s take your sons to dinner and help them know how to treat a lady on a date and proper table manners.
  • Allow your children to learn to struggle. Don’t cave in to the temptation to give them new cars. Let them learn to maintain and repair and look forward to the day when they can afford something newer. You won’t regret it.
  • Teach your kids how to set a table, how to cook, cooperate in clean up, put the toilet seat down, do laundry, mow the grass, take out the trash, vaccum, balance a check book… show them the “stuff” of making a home work.
  • Take your children to church. Teach them that spiritual life is the glue that keeps families together and happy.
  • Proverbs 22:6 says, 6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Each of your children comes with his/her own DNA, they are unique. Your desires for your children need to be tempered with helping them find the right path for their life’s work and then encouraging them in it.

You get the idea? Spend quality and quantity time with your children.

One Final Note

I am 76 years old and I have a considerable amount of regret for not harvesting more of those opportunities to spend quality time with our children. Don’t let the time get away from you. PGA rules, no mulligans.