Like Superman’s Watch

Like Superman’s watch, you sometimes don’t realize how fast time flies (sorry, had to add in what we used to call a “DJ”, or Dad Joke.)

All too often we forget to stop and remember the moment. If we don’t remind ourselves to do this, plan to do this, time really will fly by and you will wake up one day to find everything that is important has drastically changed. Two things occurred this week that reminded me to pause. My challenge to you: ensure you plan to pause, smell the roses, and remember the moment!

I chaperoned the school skating trip this week. This is the first year where my daughter and my son are both at the same campus at school. This is also the first event where I’ve seen them both together: him annoyed and her annoying him! As I watched them skate around with their friends I had these flashbacks: birthday parties, basketball games, soccer matches. Images of these young men when they were little boys and these little girls who are quickly becoming young ladies (way too quickly for my liking!) I’ve known most of the boys through coaching teams or the Cub Scouts. The girls I’m only just getting to know better as my wife has been more involved in that circle. But with each lap of the rink I was having the time of my life; being able to watch them interact, helping where I can and being ignored where I wasn’t wanted. Bottom line this is an important time of my life that I almost didn’t get. This was almost the lottery ticket I didn’t buy. Thank God my wife volunteered me!

My son graduates from primary school this week, having been there for 10+ years (when you include nursery programs.) We have loved the school, the community and the friends we’ve developed over the years. As part of the graduating class of 2017, the kids are required to compile pictures for the yearbook. This was the second point that helped remind me how quickly things change. Although I don’t believe I am; to a fault, I am That Dad. I have 350 pictures from the school play — that one performance! I have another 700+ photos for the other two performances — when I have my camera, I take a lot of pictures. Thanks to Apple’s many changing platforms for photo management I am totally disorganized when it comes to storage of these photos. This project helped force me to go find these pictures and enter a place that was both happy and sad. From christening to communion to confirmation and all the sports teams in between, there were pictures and memories that had escaped me. Seeing them all again brought me to a happy place, that was sad at the same time as you realize how much things have changed.

When you move to a new place, start a new job or travel somewhere different, you enter with eyes wide open. As you spend more time there the image dulls. It’s the same walk, train or bus to work every day. It’s the same weekend of basketball. It’s the same practice at that same deathly cold/hot field by the power plant. As the kids, and their friends, get older you adapt to how they are now and forget how little and innocent they once were. As I looked at these photos I was hit with the change. The basketball game where average difference in height between the kids was, at a maximum three inches, to now — where the difference between the same kids could be as much as a foot! All these boys are good kids — there are a few who are a handful but I know they are good kids at heart. How do I know this? Because I was able to spend time with them, as a coach, as a leader, or as another dad. The key point here is I was able to pause, to spend time with them, to have my eyes wide open.

If you spend all your time planning for the next time or trying to make ends meet you will wake up one day not realizing where the time has gone. Make the effort to stop what you’re doing and focus on what’s now. This isn’t just about your kids. It’s about your friends, your significant other, and your parents as well. It’s about life — it’s no fun if you don’t live it! Force yourself to pause, take a picture and plant the memory. And find time every once in awhile to go back and remember!

It’s week two of my 52 week writing challenge. Only 50 more to go. I hope you enjoyed!

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