Re-reading an Old Journal Entry and a Beloved Poem.
Can you read this without shedding a tear?
My hands were busy through the day,
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn't have much time for you.
I'd wash your clothes; I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me, please, to share your fun,
I'd say, "A little later, son."
I'd tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door,
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.
For life is short, and years rush past,
A little boy grows up so fast,
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no children's games to play,
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands once busy, now lie still,
The days are long and hard to fill,
I wish I might go back and do,
The little things you asked me to.
When in the midst of dirty laundry, dirty dishes, dinner still to plan or grocery shopping to do, life can seem hectic. It's easy to think it is okay to shoo the children toward busy activities when they return home from school so that our own tasks can be accomplished. I remember some of those days. I can read through an old journal and be right smack back in the moment of whatever day the page is re-telling.
When our children or grandchildren come home from school, how much better it is to clear a half hour of time for the children to sit and tell of their busy days; their little adventures, their challenges that day and their success at a newly learned skill.
This afternoon I was reading an old journal I had written in 1982. Some entries in the journal (one of some-40 journals) were short and others were long.
On one particular day, I had started to write something, stopped, and then wrote that I had put the pen down to go upstairs to see why I could hear our son moving around in his bedroom instead of going to sleep. I wrote about what happened next. Bobby was seven years old at that time. It was a school night. I went up the stairs. I went softly into our son's room and quietly asked him why he was not in bed. We ended up having a good talk, both of us sitting on the edge of the bed. He told me about some experiences he had had at school that day -- segments of his day he hadn't mentioned when we spoke earlier at the dinner table. He told me that Michael, a boy at school whom I'd met before, was starting to like him ' a little'. Our sweet son told me Michael and Jason usually leave him out at recess and lunch or even make fun of him. Sweet little Bobby and I talked and talked. It was a precious evening - a gift to me.
I realized then that I must make more time for my children.
Did I always do it? Probably not. But the little poem that I pasted on to the next page of my journal that evening did help me -- over and over -- to remember the importance of giving my children more of my time. Portions of the poem would come unbidden into my mind at just the right moment on many-a-day and I would know -- at 11:00 pm when I was washing dirty dishes or folding laundry, it had been a very good day.
It is so true, the adage: 'Children spell love -- T I M E.
When we give children our time, when we listen without being anxious to jump in with an opinion or a comment, but really listen, we are helping the child know he or she is important. He or she is of great worth.
"And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." Matthew 18:5
With the responsibility of having children comes the responsibilities of nurturing, guiding and protecting our children.
I have noticed as I grow older and no longer have the privilege of little children in my midst every day, I wonder what I can do to help other children. There are so many children in every country -- yes, even the United States and Canada -- who need nurturing, who need listening to and some who need much, much more as they are suffering more than most of us want to think about.
If we have put the picture books away and no longer have a child to tuck into bed at night, maybe there is something important we can find to do in our community for the children or the youth.
Childhood flees -- Make every moment count.
A link to a very important talk about Protecting Children
- Protect the Children - general-conference
None should resist the plea that we unite to increase our concern for the welfare and future of our children—the rising generation.
© 2013 Pamela Dapples