I had to laugh a bit at all of us parents and grandparents packed like sardines in that Lutheran church, craning our necks for a glimpse of our preschoolers dressed as sheep, seeds, the Good Samaritan or, in my family's case, a shepherd – Mary the shepherd with a staff and lines and everything. Our cameras, so many cameras, were out and aimed at the stage up front upon which four and five year olds were sweetly dramatizing Jesus' parables. You'd think they were the opening act for U2 or the Rolling Stones the way that small town venue buzzed with excitement and anticipation.
"So this is what's become of me," I thought just minutes before the show. "I'm one of those moms who revels obnoxiously in preschool plays, in funny stuff her kid's say, in soccer goals, a solid report card, construction paper snowmen. And then how good it felt to own the fact there was no place in the world I would have rather been – no one richer than me, more famous than me, more talented, productive, respected than me I would want to trade places with if it meant not having my family – not delighting in these little things, little people.
I'm pretty sure that's exactly what those parents of adult sons and daughters mean when they say, "Don't wish these precious years with your young kids away! They fly by so quickly." Taking that wise advice to heart, I openly admit to you this morning that my idea of a good time has dramatically evolved over the past decade into this:
And I'm thankful.
Today I raise my glass of fruit punch to all you who have sacrificed so, so much much to put your (extraordinary) children first, even when it hurts or requires more than you feel capable of giving. May God bless you and reward you and I both with the determination to soak in these fleeting moments in front of us. A peaceful Monday to you, my friends.