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Re-reading an Old Journal Entry and a Beloved Poem.

Updated on June 19, 2014

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.

Thank you, bankscottage and your wife, for your encouragement to write of memories in the heart.
Thank you, bankscottage and your wife, for your encouragement to write of memories in the heart. | Source

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.


© 2013 Pamela Dapples


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    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, Anna. Thanks for visiting.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      I have younger children so I can appreciate the huge workload involved in that period.

      I also appreciate how important your message is, to encourage spending time with them in the tiny window whilst they are still small.

      This was beautifully written and I loved the poem. A timely reminder for all us parents to make the most of it while we can. Thank you.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, phdast7.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Lovely poem and important message. Time does fly and those opportunities are gone before we know it. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Blessings.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      I hadn't thought of that possibility in awhile -- that we dote on our grandchildren due partly to our feelings of mistakes or regrets with our own children. I do think that's quite possible to some degree. And also I think we dote on our grandchildren because we have learned a little about priorities, putting the children's feelings and self-esteem first and helping to forge strong and loving characters in our progeny.

      It's so nice to hear from you. By the way, I placed my first item on Ebay. I placed it as a fixed rate. No takers yet. And I was so surprised when I read the fine print about the fact that we have to have sold XX many articles or reached $1000 before we can take our money out of our PayPal account? I was a bit sleepy when I read it, so I might have a bit of hyperbole mixed into the wording, but I don't think so. Gosh! I'll be 95 when I get to take my money out of my Paypal account unless I come up with a few more items to sell. It was fun and exciting, though, to set it all up.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Thank you, Eiddwen. So appreciated.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Good morning, Pamela!

      This was a very moving piece that brought back similar recollections and parental feelings. Recently, I'd written a piece about an incident with my son many years ago, and this wonderful hub of yours reinforced my yearning to go back in time and fill in the gaps when I could have been more present. I guess we do the best we can and yet can always learn more as time goes by. Maybe that's why grandparents are so doting on their grandchildren--motivated by all the moments they've spent thinking, I wished I'd done more for our son or daughter when they were little. : ) I love your new profile photo! Aloha, mahalo, and malama pono!


    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful read so voted up and shared.

      Enjoy your day.


    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      How true, how sadly true. Thanks for reading and commenting, DDE.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Time flies by and every precious moment spent with loved counts too, if lost counts for even more

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      tirelesstraveler, like you, I find myself wiser in hindsight. I don't shoo my grandchildren away ever and I wish, wish, wish I didn't ever shoo my children away so I could do unimportant tasks such as dishes and laundry.

      I loved visiting my grandchildren this past month.

      Happy travels to you if your grandchild and family end up moving to Southern California.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Thank you, Polly C. I remember when our sons passed through the 13 to 19 years era. Those are such critical years, aren't they? Their cares are becoming more serious. At 13 and 14 years old, our children can believe we are 'another generation, unable to understand' if we don't keep those lines of communication open -- and the love strong.

      You're a blessed lady -- still with a 5 year old and a 13 year old child at home.

      Thank you for commenting. I am so happy you enjoyed the poem. I will probably have to take it down soon as I did a search and it is also on the internet, so it will be duplicate content, I'm thinking, and I'll need to unpublish this hub soon.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Attaching this immediately to my hub on grand parenting. Oh my how this brought tears of remembrance shooing the kids off. My grand baby H.J. gets every second of my time I can give. They may be moving to So. California. Guess I will be on the road often.

      Bravo on a wonderful hub.

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi Pamela, this is such an important and beautiful poem - all parents should read it. It really reminds us just how important it is to set aside time for our children, abandoning our chores and other things that keep us busy, at least for a while. It really does hit home to me just how short childhood really is - my children are still at home and one is still only five, but so often it feels as though the hours whizz by and time is in short supply. A lot of the time, I feel like I am in a constant rush, for one reason or another. Anyway, your poem is an inspiration to let certain things go and focus on what is truly important, before those moments are lost.

      My older son is 13 now. Still at home, of course, but not approaching me with picture books or games to play these days. He is seeking his own independence and doing his own thing much more. Childhood is almost like the blink of an eye and something to be treasured. Thank you so much for this, it was beautifully constructed.


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