Enjoy your kids while they are still young

The VIEW from here



Sometimes I’m asked why I don’t write about my kids anymore. Readers may recall my columns in the past about hanging out with my children and some of the ups and downs of being a single dad.

Well, my answer to those who have asked is, my kids are grown up now. Lucy has been out of high school for six years and just recently finished her master’s degree. Sam graduated high school this spring and is figuring out what’s next for him in life.

It seems hard to believe they were once kids. I mean, they’ll always be my “kids”, but they no longer play with toys, run around playgrounds or, sadly, spend a lot of time with dad.

I know there are a lot of people who are ecstatic when their kids grow up, even more so when they’re ready to move out and on their own.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for my children. They are grown and are either making their way in the world or are about to take that step. That’s what it’s all about, getting them to that place in their lives.

But I must admit, part of me misses the little kids they once were. While I still see those adorable little faces in my daughter and son, I would give anything to have those earlier versions of Lucy and Sam back – just for one day.

One more trip to the playground or playing Barbies or Star Wars action figures with them. Sitting through a softball, baseball or football game and cheering them on, or going to a dance recital to watch them earn the applause of the audience.

I wish I had savored those times more than I did, while I still had the chance. When they’re grown up and in the middle of their own lives, you suddenly wish maybe you had put aside work or personal problems more often when they were little and took more time to spend with them.

Because when it’s over and they’re grown, it’s never quite the same again.

New parents out there, I urge you to spend all the time you can with your children when they are young and enjoy those special moments. Play with them, take them to the park and the movies and attend their sports and extracurricular activities. Family trips, game night, fishing or taking a bike ride together.

These are your best years with them, so take nothing for granted and savor all the time you have with them.

Because when they are grown and those days are over, you will look back on those years and ask yourself, “where did the time go?”

Yes, I miss my kids a lot, but they have made me very proud and I know they will both find success and happiness in their lives. And while I might not physically be there to hold their hand and tell them everything is going to be all right, I hope they know I am always there for them and will always have their backs no matter what.

Gary Gould is the managing editor of the Genesee County View. Contact him at ggould@mihomepaper.com.