We celebrated Father’s Day this year with an early morning, family bike ride to our favorite breakfast place across town. As the cool morning breeze kissed my face and the sun warmed my skin, I watched as my beautiful family pedaled ahead of me and I reflected on just how fast time was flying by. We’ve been making this breakfast destination jaunt during the summer months for years with many bicycle sizes as our girls grew. It’s one of our favorite family pastimes in the cool hours of the mornings before the heat cranks up over 100 degrees. Our oldest daughter is turning 17 this year and will soon be off to college. Our youngest is now 10 on her way to pre-teen years. Where did the last seven years go? Seems like yesterday, my oldest was 10 and we had “forever” before she was in high school and ready to move on into her future. I know this is a common experience for many parents and I’ve heard it countless times myself, but when you are in the midst of the experience, it’s a bit surreal. It’s suddenly all too clear that these days are passing far more quickly than I’d like and these beautiful babies will be out of the house in the blink of an eye. What’s the purpose of sharing all of this with you? It’s to remind us that moments are precious. We need to capture, cherish and remember them often; to live in the moment more, to connect together more! Let your daughters paint those nails and drench you in sparkles; have those tea parties together. Let your sons build, paint, climb, run, tackle and wrestle with you. Coach those sports if you have the chance. Above all – make time for snuggles! Those moments of youth are fleeting and in as much as they feel like they’ll be forever while you are experiencing them, they’re only a moment in time. For that matter, they’re NEVER too big or too old to snuggle, hug or tell them “I love you” (even if its not cool). Say it often, say it out loud, show them!!
There’s no doubt in my mind that this is something you have heard before. Therefore, I’m not telling you anything new, but perhaps reading it again serves as a small reminder that the post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, reading Email on your phone or computer, or watching the latest on television can wait for a little while we spend quality time together in the moment, interacting as human beings before all those precious moments pass us by. Seems simple doesn’t it? Perhaps I’m reflecting on this more on Father’s Day than others because my father is no longer on this earth. No longer around to share the latest accomplishment or milestone with my girls. No longer there to hug and say thank you for being the best Dad EVER. I’m grateful and comforted for the time I was able spend telling him how much I loved him and what a great father he was!! Grateful to hold his hand and say goodbye when the time came. There was so much more of our lives I wanted to share with him that time would not allow. Truth be told, we don’t know how much time we have on this earth, which makes making each day count and being in the moment all the more important!
My wish this Father’s Day and beyond is for you and yours to remember to take those family bikes rides, walks, and silly family selfies and photos. Fill life with embarrassing moments, make up silly songs and make each other laugh as often as possible. Don’t be so busy or serious in the fast-paced lives we lead, to forget what’s most important; each other. Our daughters are my greatest accomplishment. I want them to ALWAYS remember us playing and spending time with them, even in the midst of whatever crisis or catastrophe life introduces. Getting them involved with shopping, cooking or helping around the house even counts in my book because at least it’s in the moment and something they can hold on to!! Growing multiple businesses, school and having our girls involved in year-round sports, doesn’t leave us as much time as when they were younger, but we do our best to make the time we do spend together quality time and as frequent as possible. We look for every moment and take advantage of any free time we can.
Our kids are only kids for a short while before they are off into the grown up world. As parents we are aware of this, as much as we are aware our own parents won’t be with us forever. Share time with each other, share yourself with each other. I remind myself often and I know its not always easy with so much to accomplish in a day, but know this to be true; our actions in life speak so much louder than words and our kids won’t remember what we accomplished at home or work as much as they’ll remember our time together. We are a work in progress, always learning, developing, working at being better than we were yesterday. As we spend the time to work on ourselves, making ourselves healthier and strong, spend time strengthening relationships too. Have no regrets in life and make the time count before life passes by. I was reminded of this on our bike ride this morning as pedaling turned to chatting, chatting turned to laughing and laughter turned into memories.
Michele Laine co-owns her own consulting business with her husband Scott where they apply over 30 years of entrepreneurial expertise to help others grow and manage their companies from start to finish and everywhere in between. For more on Michele and her company click here!
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