Last week I got up and hit the road to collect my oldest son from his freshman year of college. I’m thrilled to have him home for the summer, even as I’m painfully aware how short this time is.
But here’s the secret – all of the time is short. When my boys were toddlers and in early elementary school, college seemed a million miles away. And yet, it’s already begun. Like so many mothers say, I miss those days of long ago, days when one of my kids’ favorite games was to run in my room, jump on my bed, and wait for me to come in and dump warm laundry – fresh out of the dryer – on top of them.
And, however hard we may work to be present in the moment and enjoy time as it comes, time still goes too fast, and changes – big and small – will still come.
I have loved every age my kids have been – even these late teen years, but they’ve all gone too fast.
So I suggest you make the best of them. My advice is to get furniture that encourages everyone to congregate together – on top of each other, even. My favorite was the big, brown L-shaped sofa we had – we would all lie around on top of each other watching football or superhero movies. I loved those times.
Another trick for keeping everyone together is to consider a desk for your family room that goes from a homework spot to your place for scrapbooking to a great place to play Uno. And keep it central to keep them all together – squabbling, making messes, and being rowdy – for as long as you possibly can. Because as time slips away, those cherub-faced babies will morph into nearly grown people who may very well tower over you. And other things can change as well – friendships will come and go, relationships may bloom and die, and while there will be joys and tremendous highs, there will almost certainly be losses too.
I guess what I’m saying is this: do whatever you can to foster time together and make a space that everyone keeps coming back to. I spent a lot of time playing seemingly interminable games of Parcheesi or Monopoly with a table full of squirmy, noisy boys as my sons and their friends always were – and every second was worth it. Finding great furniture that lasts is one way you can do this. Those pictures you take year after year, in front of the same backdrop, speak to a consistency you and your family will find invaluable.
Make a place everyone wants to be and remember to enjoy even the simple silly moments.
Life is short – You should make the great moments last
– Laurie Taddonio.