It is so easy to take things for granted. It’s easy to look back on your life and see the things that you took for granted and wish you had done things differently. I just wrote a post about all The Things I Used to Take for Granted before I had kids. It was a literary work of art, destined to be nominated for dozens of awards.
Alright fine, it won’t win any awards and it was above average at best but you should still read it if you haven’t so you know the back drop for this post. After I wrote it I had a realization: “Am I going to look back at my life right now in 20 years and realize I was taking things for granted now?”
Yes! I probably was. I started to think about the things now that I am taking for granted. I have made the decision that, to the best of my ability, I immediately need to stop and appreciate some areas of my life. Here are a few of the things I’m going to do my best to no longer take for granted.
Getting Woken up in the Middle of the Night
There will come a time that the kids will no longer walk up to my bedside pre-dawn, nose barely above the mattress and whisper “Daddy, Daddy” until I wake up. I enjoy sleep as much, if not more, than the next guy. But honestly, can there be a sweeter way to get woken up? I usually just grab them up and pull them into bed with me and cuddle them for a while. As long as it doesn’t become a nightly occurrence I should just embrace this because when they are 16 I won’t get any of this and I’ll look back on it with fond memories.
Having to wipe bottoms
I didn’t say anywhere I had to LIKE these things, I simply said I’ll not take them for granted. Whether it’s changing a diaper or wiping a bottom on the toilet, they only need me to do this for such a brief period in their life that I should appreciate their need for me.
Having to cut up food
Once again, they will only need me to do this for such a short period of time in their lives that I shouldn’t look at it as a chore I can’t wait for them to grow out of. There will be plenty of meals later that they can cut their own food, I should enjoy these days.
Picking them up and hugging them
I don’t know at what point you can’t pick your child up and hug them anymore but there will be a time when I’ll pick them up and give them a hug and then I’ll set them down and I’ll never pick them up and hug them again. At some point kids just grow too big and you have to hug them while they stand. I don’t want to take another pick-up hug for granted again while I can still give them.
Cuddling them on my lap
Similar to picking them up, at some point they will no longer be able to sit on my lap and rock with me. I remember as a kid enjoying rocking with my dad, I’m just too big now to go sit on his lap and rock together. One day, I’ll set my kid down off my lap and he’ll never get back on again. I want to try and cherish every one from here on out.
Eating family dinners at the table
Dinner time is only destine to get crazier as time goes on with sports, after school activities and home work. I am able to eat dinner with all the kids almost every night. That won’t always be the case.
Having toys scattered everywhere
What better evidence of youth than a room full of toys. At some point all the toys will go into bins or boxes and never be pulled out and played with again. We’ve all seen Toy Story 3, it’s bound to happen. I’m sure I’ll always look back fondly at this stage of our lives with toys and laughter and squeals of joy echoing through our house. There isn’t any reason why I can’t look fondly at it right now too.
I have to admit that sometimes I get annoyed by “injuries” my children obtain which require a magic kiss to heal. Obviously any injury healed by a kiss was no real injury at all. But honestly, in a few years they probably won’t even want me to kiss them at all, so I should just enjoy the fact they love me and enjoy giving away healing smooches.
Answering 100s of Questions all day
Sometimes it can get so tedious answering all these questions all day. I need to remember that they are young and wanting to learn and they still think I’m smart (which I hear changes in the teen years). I need to embrace my roll as chief question answerer because before too long they’ll think they know everything and won’t ask dear old dad anything.
One day the last kid will finally move out of the house and there will be no one to wake me up in the middle of the night. No one needing me to wipe their bottom or cut their food. No one needing to be reminded to pick up their toys or put their dirty clothes away. No one to pick up and hug or cuddle on my lap. I’ll look back with loving, fond memories of those times but I hope I can say I didn’t take them granted.
What do you need to stop taking for granted today?
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