Reclaiming Stolen Time
My kids had their Midwinter Break last week. It was an overly busy nine-day stretch of time off school that I’m still recovering from.
And I’ve officially accepted that kids do grow up too fast.
I didn’t mean to schedule everything on their week off, but that’s just how things aligned: home projects, all the kids' dental appointments, Autism appointments, shockwave therapy on my foot, doctor follow-ups—the list goes on.
All of it fell on last week.
While I spent most of my time engaged in meetings and appointments, my husband worked and our kids were on screens basically the entire week.
All the plans I’d made for us fell through—one due to a surprise cold front that brought a dusting of snow along with it (we’re ex-Floridians: we’re babies when it comes to cold); another due to that extra-cold weather eliminating our favorite restaurant in north Seattle which hasn’t seated inside since the beginning of the pandemic, and being car-free means we would’ve dined in the snow; and a couple of rough days for my tendinitis foot that's seemingly refusing to heal.
I tell myself that all these missed opportunities are a season, and it will pass, but as a new acquaintance with grown children pointed out: my oldest is twelve and is in the place where she hardly wants to do anything anymore, let alone do it with her family. Pulling no punches, this acquaintance said, “That ship has sailed.”
Last week was especially difficult for me to process. I ran myself ragged, but I also feel like I let my kids down. Because I know this time while they’re still “little” is slipping away, and the pandemic instilled a more settled attitude in them—in all of us.
They’re content to just stay home, not wanting to explore like they used to (who am I kidding: getting them to go anywhere has always been like pulling teeth).
I have to learn how to meet them where they are.