Anyone who knows me knows that I have a finger in several pies. There are so many books I want to read; so many books that are waiting to be written. I have running related goals, and adventure desires. There are places I want to visit, things I want to experience. I would love to have more time for my garden, and for photography. I am passionate about all of them, and I would love to be able to devote time to any of them.
But if I knew I had only limited time on the planet, the only thing I would rush to do is to spend more time with my kids. I would try to compress a lifetime of loving into the few days I have. I would get less irritated with them, and would excuse more of their shortcomings. I would be less of a parent, and more of an grandparent- tell less, indulge more. I would probably also write notes to them that they can read when they are old enough to understand and need them. And I would definitely read 'The Little Prince' with them, so when they are old enough to understand, they understand what I was trying to tell them.
But do I really need to be told I have limited time on earth before I do all that? As a parent, I have to lay down certain rules and make sure they are followed, but can't I show them a lot more love than I do now. I love them, and they know I love them, but am I hugging them as much as I could? Do I tell them, and tell them again and again, that I love them unconditionally, and will always do so? Do I tell them without being asked that I am their friend and that I will always be their friend?
I started last night. Normally, I use the time when they are watching TV to catch up on housework. Yesterday, I went across and hugged them both. "Are you leaving for office now?", the younger one asked. "No darling, I'm not going anywhere now", I assured them. But I was ashamed- ashamed that they associate a hug with parting, when it should be something they take as their due.
A couple of minutes later, they came across and hugged me. I almost asked them if they wanted something, but bit my tongue so the question would not slip out. If I could hug them without reason, why could they not do the same?
I can't find my dog-eared copy of 'The Little Prince' - I know I did not lend it to anyone, but it probably got lost in one of our moves. I'll pick up a copy of the book tomorrow, and start reading it with them. If nothing else, they are going to like the pictures!
Thank you, Jan, for making me think of my heart work.