My baby is 17 today! I can hardly believe that my first born is now an ‘almost adult’. It seems as though in the beginning I thought this time would never come and now I’m wondering how on earth it happened so quickly.
Seventeen years of laughter, tears, lessons, successes, failures and memories.
The other day, my mum came to visit and I overheard one of the little girls telling her about the year we had an outer space birthday cake with black icing. The punchline was that her brother produced purple diapers for a week after eating all of that black icing – blech! It should be mentioned that this little sister wasn’t even born at the time. The story has been told and retold so many times it is as if she was there.
Another favourite family memory is of my two aunties coming for a visit. They were in their early to mid 60s at the time. It was the dead of summer and the children had never met them before. It is important to know that there is a streak of silliness on my mother’s side of the family – of course I’m not too silly. Anyway, in the heat, the children were all enjoying frozen yogurt tubes. My mother, the youngest sister by a decade, thought it would be funny to use the yogurt tube like an ice cube and dropped it down the back of one of her sisters. Pandemonium ensued! Before anyone knew what was happening there were yogurt tubes flying, aunties and grandmas wrestling, little ones grappling to get in on the action and giggles resounding. My inlaws were there and as they sat back and watched I wondered if they were questioning the sanity of their extended family.
Our children probably hold that afternoon as one of their fondest memories. There was nothing profound, no earth shattering revelations. It was not a pivotal point in anyone’s development. It was just plain fun! That day is etched in our memories. The stories are told and retold – and even relived when there are yogurt tubes in the house. Each time my aunties come to visit there is a variation on the theme. They love to laugh together and my family has the unique blessing of being able to laugh with them.
As one by one we begin sending our children into the world, I will count on those memories and on the times spent together creating them. We are growing young adults who will love life and have the support and encouragement of family behind them. When things get tough, those memories will be a source of comfort and encouragement.
I encourage each one, today, to seize the opportunity to have fun with your children. Create some memories that will last a lifetime. All too quickly they will grow and move on. Now is the time to establish the bond of family and friendship that will follow you and hold you together no matter how far apart you may be.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”