Monday, September 22, 2003

Watering The Kids

Someone funnier then I once said of children, “We spend the first years of their life teaching them to walk and talk, then the rest of their lives telling them to sit down and shut up.”

My daughters are now 4, 7, and 10 years old. I spend a lot of time telling them to sit down and be quiet it seems. Recently, more time has been spent thinking about how fast life passes you by. You always hear older folks tell you that, but when you start to really sit and ponder the phenomenon it’s downright scary.

The whole John Ritter passing really made me think about how precious life is, and how we really don’t know when a life will be leaving our presence. Will I die before my wife? Will one of our children die in some freak accident? You just never know the answers to these questions, and so we move along with the hope that we will all live to a ripe old age.

Back to John Ritter. During one of the specials remembering his career, there was a scene from his last sitcom that showed him with his T.V. daughters.

They were getting in the family car and the oldest daughter was driving the youngest daughter someplace. John looked through the garage, past the car at a small bike hanging on the wall and flashed back to the time when he was teaching his oldest daughter how to ride her bike without training wheels. Now she was driving her sister out of the garage.

Call me a wimp, but I got pretty emotional thinking about my own daughters, two without training wheels already!

Kids grow up so fast it must be something in the water. After all, you water them, and they grow up.

My wife and I have recently started using one day on the weekend to spend time just doing family things. Miniature golfing, go-cart riding, or just hiking in the surrounding countryside.

Time is slipping by at a rapid pace. My 10 year old is talking about boyfriends, wearing a bra, and gabbing on the phone any chance we’ll let her. You can’t reign them in from all of this, but we sure try hard.

I’m constantly trying to educate my girls on life, and anything I can think of. I hope it will be enough. It seems that there is too much to teach them, so I stick to the basics, the foundation for what I hope will be there for sound decisions later.

I feel like I’m just winding up their springs, and soon I’ll have to let them go and watch what happens. Hopefully, if I have done things correctly, they will come back and ask Dad for advice when they need it, and stand firmly on their foundation I have helped to construct if I’m not around.

My parents were right. They grow up so fast…

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