Adelaide Oval, 29 October 2017
“MUM, when I’m an adult I want to marry you,” I heard my son say to my wife as I washed dishes and she helped him brush his teeth for bed.
In that moment I wondered what her response would be. I was curious. Then I heard her say, “Sorry darling, but you can only be married to one person, and Mum is married to Dad.” Then I chimed in and said, “But you could marry someone like Mum.” The conversation continued for a few more moments, but we could tell these concepts were hard for him to absorb. But he was absorbed!
These are the precious moments of our lives. Like all parents, we want a record of these events of innocence, as they occur in all little children’s lives and ought to be celebrated.
Only minutes earlier my son wanted to help me make coffee and I fobbed him off, and even as he walked away dejected, I brought him back and said, “Sorry, Dad didn’t speak very kindly to you then, did he… can you help me make my coffee?” — a moment redeemed! Life is full of emotionally pregnant moments.
There are times when we watch our son playing in the backyard or at the park or in his play area and we marvel at his creativity. But if I’m honest, I’m usually preoccupied with the events and plans in my life and I miss most of these moments, even when I’m present. It’s those times where God reminds me to refocus and claim the moment, so I have less regret in the future.
It’s like the myriad precious moments in my girls’ lives as they grew through their childhoods. So many memories to cherish. So many memories of having simply been present. And so many missed moments.
The older I get the more I think that at some point I will have to leave all this behind; the people, the events, the memories, and the possessions, which pale in significance.
Our family is a precious gift we’re given, to hold and nurture and protect. Our children hold in their beings the precious genome of character we sow into them today, in this season, which is fleeting. Soon, all too soon, they will be the parents and grandparents. When our son will be married!
Life. Be present. Make the most of the precious little moments and surreal little wonders.