Celebrating the last choir concert for our seniors, we sat at a restaurant with friends and kids and reminisced about the last four years. We reflected on the joy of watching our teenagers sing throughout high school. Several people stopped by our table to compliment the kids on four years of hard work and beautiful performances. The clock ticked and before we knew it, it was 11 p.m. on a school night. But we continued laughing and loving this incredibly special time.
Later, I reflected: What could I take away from all of these “last” high school events? It’s the last year of high school after all. Here’s what I realized I needed to do:
Take these moments in my teenagers’ lives. Relish them. Make these precious teenage memories. Stop looking at my watch.
I am trying to embrace this new attitude.
I was always in such a rush. Whether it’s the last minute dash to the car on the way to school or trying to do too many things on my day off, I hate the feeling of not getting everything done. That inability to distinguish between truly important and not worth rushing takes a toll. But I am slowly learning to let that little stuff go and take note of what is warm and good and worth savoring.
I believe that my new attitude is making a difference in my family. They tended to follow my lead and since I had responded to every need with the same urgency, so did they. I needed to find a way to let go, and I wanted to offer this insight to my kids.
Now, I see my teens trying to differentiate between what is worth flipping out over and what is deserving of some quiet thought.
Why was I always in such a rush to get to the next place? And did we ever stop to think about what we could do to make getting there not so crazy? I am trying hard to change. I see that there is no danger in letting a young teen live in a messy room or giving up the scheduled bedtime that their body clock has clearly rejected. As they get older, they will figure out what works for them. There’s no rush.
This past weekend we all discovered that we had about two hours free on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Within seconds, we had grabbed towels, put on bathing suits, thrown food and drinks into a cooler, and headed to the beach. Twenty minutes later, we were all sandy-toed and greased up with faces toward the sun. There was plenty of stuff waiting for us back at the house, but it could wait. Nothing would be as important or wonderful as the next two hours just listening to them laugh and talk.
My kids were so content and happy. And we were in no rush to miss that.