I Wish I Had Known

The older I get the more I wish I had known then what I know now.

I wish I had known when I was a youngster that time would fly by so quickly. I wish I had spent more time savoring each day, each experience, each friendship. And not wishing I was older, more “grownup.”

Those childhood days are gone and I know now that I spent too much time hurrying to the next “thing.” Like most I just wanted to hurry up and jump that next age hurdle. You know, when you’re 10 you wish you were a teenager, at 15 you want to be 16, then 18, then 21. If only I could have told my younger self to slow down and enjoy the moment.

I wish I had known how foolish it was to worry about what others thought. As a youngster my concerns were focused on trying to measure up to those around me, peer pressure. And I never felt as though I had it right. My clothes were made by my mom, (I wish I had appreciated this more) and most of the other girls had the latest styles from the stores. My mom cut my hair, she did her best, because going to a salon wasn’t in the budget. My hem lengths were too long, my hair never looked right and I was so, so skinny. All these things lead to my being ridiculed and teased as the jokes flew my way. And it didn’t help that I was so shy it hurt. In short, I spent way too much time trying to fit in. I wish I could have told my younger self that I was fine just the way I was.

I wish I had known while raising my children that they would grow up way to fast. With the passing of each stage, be it the last bottle, the last diaper or the last sippy cup, I felt the loss of a piece of them. When they entered school, well, that was a trying time for this mom. On that “first day” of kindergarten I could be found dropping them off with a cheery smile stamped on my face. Then, whether it was back at home or at work I would be crying. I don’t mean I was a little teary eyed. I would be shoulder shaking, nose running, makeup smudged all over my face, making unrecognizable utterances and waterworks freely flowing kind of full blown sobbing. This was especially true when my baby, Aaron, started school. After dropping him off I went to work with a stiff upper lip, shoulders squared, and with the utmost confidence that I had this under control. Well, that lasted until the first person said “Good morning.” That was all it took for the dam to burst and off to the races we went as my blubbering was totally out of control. I did always manage to pull myself together before picking them up after their first day of school. I wish I had known just how fast those days would fly by.

I wish I had known how fleeting middle age would be. The kids finishing school, going to work, moving out and getting married. And there it is, the empty nest syndrome. (Dirty words, dirty words!)

How on earth did I become the grandmother? Just yesterday I was the one having babies. Oh, but those grandkids are such a joy to have around. Isn’t it funny how we are able to enjoy our grandkids more than we did our children? (I wouldn’t have thought this was possible.) Do your kids say, “ you never let me get away with that?” Yes, I hear it too. And, they do have a point. But, that’s one of the privileges we’re awarded with when we’re proclaimed a “grandparent.”

I wish I had known that retirement would not be as fun as I thought. I seem to spend more time getting over illnesses. Some say you are paying for your playing. But, I sure don’t remember playing hard enough to wear out the parts I have had replaced. (Hips, knees and spinal fuses have all had to be dealt with.) And I hate the word “rehab.” Aaron calls this torture with consent.

I wish I had known as my children grow older that getting together would be so difficult. Their schedules are focused around their family unit, as it should be. With the traveling restrictions and health issues, time is fleeting.

There it is again. I wish I had slowed down and enjoyed more the light of each day, each season of life. I guess that’s what I’m trying to convey in this message.

Today you’re a youngster and tomorrow you’re the grandparent. Yes, it happens that fast.

No matter where you’re at in this life journey, slow down and enjoy the day. It will be gone before you can blink.

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