I have three children; if you’ve spent any time here, you know this already because I often talk about them in my blog. I started this blog for them. The thing is, they are not babies anymore. Two of them are legal adults – college age. The last is in high school, so while they are my children, they are no longer strictly “kids.”
You’re Never Too Old To Be My Baby
But, even grown kids need their mom sometimes. Never is this more apparent than when something goes wrong. It seems that when the children are small, there are so many things to think of: baby-proofing, friendships, socialization, teaching good morals and values, education, scraps, cuts, and illnesses. But, as they grow older, these needs don’t disappear – they morph into different versions of the same thing. Sure they take more responsibility for taking care of their needs, working out relationships, and their education. But, sometimes, they still need us, our experience, our love, and our support.
A Long Week
This week was a long one – I’m sorry for being absent. My baby needed me. As a result, I got very little work done or even touched the things on my “To-Do List.” I did, however, take the time to focus on helping my very ill, freshly minted adult get better.
The last time I called for an ambulance for someone I loved was nearly 13 years ago after my mother had suffered a stroke. Calling 911 for my daughter was terrifying. I’m not an overreactor. I’m pretty laid back, chill. I never bring the kids to the doctor unnecessarily, a fact our pediatrician remarks on it every so often. I like when you guys come in, it’s always something interesting. Not sure if that’s what I’m aiming for, but…
Watching my daughter wheeled out in a stretcher, bundled into an ambulance, lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to IVs, getting tested for this and that, writhing in pain, semi-conscious, and attended by baffled doctors, I was stressed out. It had been so long since she was in the hospital my mother’s name was still down as an emergency contact—lump in my throat.
The Most Important Work
Your children are always your babies – whether they are eight months, eight years, 18, or 80. And, while the relationship changes in some ways – the love for your child stays the same. So I spent the last week taking care of her and making her comfortable. Now that she is doing better, and I have turned my attention back to my blog – the most beautiful thing happened am at peace instead of the intense stress I would have felt after trying to manage a very ill child and my teaching duties. I have freedom. As the CEO of my own life, I can take the time to care for the most important part of my life – my family – without being wracked with guilt about not doing my “job.” As she lay on the couch Friday, she apologized for getting sick since it prevented me from working. Don’t feel bad! I exclaimed. I don’t! I’m so happy to be able to be here when you need me!
And that’s it, isn’t it?
Isn’t that what life is all about? When we can take control of our lives in a way that allows us to chart our own paths, we can spend our most valuable resource (time) on the people we value most.
Time Is Priceless
Time is the one commodity you can never replace.
The most important lesson I learned after my accident was that – at my job – I am infinitely replaceable. Companies, corporations, school districts, hospitals can and will replace you in an instant and never look back. But, the time you spend with your family and friends is priceless. Leave early for that game, come in late for that school day concert, take off to nurse your loved ones back to health. Those moments with the ones you love – it is the only fair trade for your time.