One of my favorite portions of the Bible is the third chapter of Ecclesiastes. It begins by telling us there is a season for everything in life and a time to every purpose under the heaven. For example, there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. There’s also a time to dance, and if you’ve ever seen me break it down you will probably cry, but I digress. Ecclesiastes 3:6 tells us of a time to lose. I’ve been thinking about this because I have two daughters and my oldest child is about to turn 7-years-old. She’s not a baby anymore. She’s not a woman either, but she is growing up and needing me less these days. As a result, I do not want to forget the funny and sometimes insightful remarks she’s made over the years. That is why I keep a record of various things that stand out to me in our conversations. You should too because one day your child or children will be gone and you’ll wish you had things to look back on.
How do I keep tabs on things my daughter says? For starters, I drive her and another child to school most mornings. I enjoy listening to them talk about school and other things they are experiencing. Sometimes, their conversations can get ugly. Other times they make me laugh, which is something a broadcaster and his audience needs when we consider today’s news. Regardless, I log things that stand out on my social media page, and I apply the same hashtag to those posts. This allows me to go back and find things at a later date.
Here is one example of a carpool conversation I had during the 2015-2016 school year:
Kid: For my birthday, can you go to the pet store and buy me one of the gray things? The one that flies.
Me: I'll see what I can do. Is it a toy or an animal?
Kid: It's an animal. It's little, but it's not a baby. It's like a teenager.
Kid: Or, you can buy me a snake!
Kid: Don't tell my momma. She hates snakes.
Another kid: Don't buy a snake. Get a bird!
It wasn’t until days later that we determined the child was asking for a flying squirrel or “sugar glider” that he saw at a festival. (note to self: His birthday is coming up and he never got one of these creatures)
I realize this may not be up every man’s alley. This is very similar to scrapbooking and you are “not that kind of guy.” Some men may even have jobs that require them to be away for long periods of time. But that’s the point. You, dad, should seize the moment. Spend time with your child and keep track of things so that you’ll have something to read or watch later. As I’ve tried to establish, there is coming a day when you and your child will not be in the same house. You may already be living in separate houses, due to divorce and or you are older and you children are living on their own. Whatever the case may be, take advantage of the time. Share memories and talk about your interests. Enjoy the season, and have something to look back on when the next season comes around.