The title suggests that this is a pop quiz on division … how much is 2 into 13?
But it isn’t a math question. It’s a short blog about how fast time goes by while you are parenting.
Not that long ago it was just us two … Joanie and Paul. And then there were three of us and when Wes’ brother David arrived we were up to four. It stayed at four for quite some time (nobody wants their sons marrying while they’re still in junior or senior high school!)
Eventually, however, Wes found his Coral … David found his Amy … and along came Caleb, Matt, Kaleah, Karissa, Jackson, Kaitlyn and Weston. And suddenly there were thirteen in the tribe.
I say ‘suddenly’ because it did occur almost overnight.
And how much of our almost 50 years of marriage have we been parents? All but the first couple of years. How much of it was important to parenting? Every minute of it from the time “I do” came out of our mouths.
There is no ‘slack time’ when you parent children! From the day of our wedding we were forging a relationship together that would be the glue to hold our family together. From our honeymoon on we were establishing operating principles that would guide us through anything life threw at our family.
We look back at our decisions on how to discipline … on how to keep Joanie home during the boys’ early years … on best methods to teach honesty, commitment, work ethics and how to develop a personal walk with God.
Decisions not to leave your adolescents at home for a week by themselves while you go on vacation … or to not leave your baby strapped in a car seat while you bar hop … those are (or should be) no-brainers. But discerning a child’s heart condition, understanding his or her innate fears, perceiving where their spiritual battles are raging … these take time and effort.
As a parent, there is simply no ‘down time.’ Every precious moment counts for now and forever.
Gazing at my two sons and their wives gives me a feeling of satisfaction, almost like the job’s completed. But wait! Behind them come seven more who call me Papa and Joanie Mimi. They not only need their parents, but they need us also.
The beat goes on, but we’ll have eternity to gather our family around us and praise God for the moments, months and decades that we got to invest in these priceless gifts.
P.S. And if you insist on taking the above title as a math question … the answer is: 6.5
Fresh Heart Ministries