I’ve Wasted So Much Time

My little granddaughter is two years old today. She has been a joy and a marvel since she was born, but I have especially enjoyed her since she got a little older. She is an early achiever; crawling, walking, and talking much earlier than most (but of course, I am a little biased). I have loved every moment of being her grandma. When I am spending time with her, I can be found sitting on the floor playing with Little People, pulling the train around the kitchen by the pull string, playing hide and seek around the corners, and coloring endless pictures of Elmo and Oscar the Grouch.

On more than one occasion when I was under the kitchen table with Ellie, I found myself wondering why I didn’t do more of this when my boys were little. I can’t remember doing the things with them that I do with her. I thought I was a pretty involved mommy, but looking back, I don’t think I realized those things were as critical as I do now. Why didn’t I spend more time playing and imagining? Didn’t I enjoy it? What was I doing that was so important that I can’t recall driving cars around the floor with my sons? I suspect I was occupied with cooking and cleaning, laundry and other issues of daily life; and somehow, I missed something very important.

Grandparenting has given me a whole new perspective on what is really important. Perhaps it is simply being older and wiser that has helped me understand the importance of interacting with young children. Grandchildren seem to grow so much faster than my own children did! Every time I see Ellie it seems she has developed some new skill and has changed more than I can comprehend. I cherish her chatter and delight in conversing with her on her level.

I frequently see young moms’ hashtag the phrase “loving the little years” on social media and my heart rejoices when I do. If I had to do it all over again, I would care less about how clean my house was at the end of each day and spend more time under the kitchen table with my boys. I would be less concerned about whatever stole my attention back then and devote more of each day to playing and swinging and coloring and relating to them. I would hold on to every blessed moment because all too quickly they are gone. One day you wake up and your children are leaving home and you discover that you wasted far too much time on stuff that really doesn’t matter. Right now, I can’t think of any day that the cleanliness of my house was memorable between the years 1985 and 1999. I can, however, recall the days that I did spend playing and laughing and making memories with my sons. They are not quite as numerous in hindsight as I wish they were, but I aim to do better with my grandchildren.

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Proverbs 17:6 (ESV)

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