This week marked a huge milestone in our family. My son started his first year at preschool. Gladly he took off out the door, backpack on, and a big ole smile. That cute, charming, carefree, loving little soul just marched right on down to school without second thought of the fact he would not be with Mommy and Daddy for the rest of the morning. Seperation anxiety? None. At least not for him. Mommy and Daddy (and little sis) may be a different story.
Just the other day I was looking through his baby pictures. The day he was born, the day we brought him home, and the 3 years in between now and then. Where has the time gone? How have I let so much time slip away unnoticed? How do I know if I used all of that time wisely or just let it go to waste? Questions that I’m sure a lot of us have asked ourselves as our children have started to grow up and move on into new stages of their lives. Was there enough playtime with him? Was there enough time to let him just do his thing and sit back and watch? What kind of examples have I set and how much of me has he picked up? The great struggles that define the course of fatherhood become the great unanswered and unseen impressions of fatherhood my son will carry with him for a lifetime.
Time, I have learned, is not of the essence, nor is it a promise or a guarantee. Time in life is a gift, and the gifts can always cease to come our way, so what we do with the time we have is essential. The time we have makes the memories that will stay with us, and with our children, for all of our lives. Whether you are on all fours becoming a horse for 10 minutes, or just simply sitting on the couch watching your children play, all of it becomes a memory once the time has passed. At that point the greater question becomes, what kind of memories have we made?
I submit to you these closing thoughts and questions: What kind of memories are you making? What will your children remember about you, and what will you remember of your children and your fatherhood? Are we making the best use of the time that is fleeting? How can we better use the time that we have and the time we have to make a lasting impression to our children? How can we impact those whose father may not be around? Can we make a difference, not only in the lives of our children and ourselves, but in the lives of other children and other dads? Can well call out, reach out, and extend a hand in time to those around us who are seeking to make the best of time and seeking to be a bigger influence in the lives of children all over the world?
Raising the future of the world takes time. It takes involvement, it takes dedication. It takes knowing when to say no, when to say yes, and when to humbly admit that you don’t know. In the end, it takes love. It takes the kind of love that a father had for his children. The kind of love a mother has for the fruits of her labor. How are you impacting the future of the world? What more can we do? What will be said when that time is at an end?