THE BOOK

I really miss my children. There are times when I long to be able to go back in time and rather than quickly finishing that job, just do something enjoyable together that we might or might not still remember to this day. We did do that, but I wish to have done it more and, perhaps, with a little more focus.

You may have heard many an older parent saying, “Where did those years go?” It sounds like an old cliché, but it is nonetheless truer than you can imagine.

When one is bobbing chin-deep in parenthood, one cannot see the end of this period in one’s life. When you look toward the day that your child leaves school—in, say, ten years’ time—it appears on some very distant horizon. It does not seem to be very real at all, not part of your foreseeable reality. And this is true at the time, but suddenly you hear your own child saying, “Mom! Dad! Great news! You are going to be grandparents.” I am not exaggerating. And interestingly enough, one hardly feels any different as a person from those days when you were a young parent yourself, and yet twenty-five years have just whizzed by.

When they have grown up and out, we can always love them, and sometimes we can have fun with them, and now and again we can cuddle them, but this will all be on their terms and in their time.

Very simply, what I am saying is this: try to be the best parent you know how to be now, and never miss an opportunity to truly enjoy your children. Appreciate them for the God-given gifts that they are.

Have loads of fun with them, hug them, and cuddle them and treasure them—now.

To be a parent is to be on a journey towards a far-reaching destination. The road you travel may have bumps, potholes, and detours, but more than that, it will be filled with joy, adventure, and companionship. Plan ahead and always be ready to go back to your “map” and reassess your route.

Love them, love them, and love them some more.

May the road rise up to meet you as you adventure into parenthood.

May the wind be at your back as you run with them hand in hand.

May the sun shine warm upon your faces, as together you bask in the delights of their childhood.

And may the rain fall softly on your faces as you explore the wonders of the land.

And till this journey is over,

May God hold you and your children gently in the palm of His hand.

—Patti’s rendition of an Irish blessing

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