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I saw a mom at the airport last night who is still in my mind this morning. She was sitting in baggage claim with a yummy little pajama’d bundle asleep on her shoulder. Baby was maybe four months old. Still little, but with that extra baby chunk that tells of a well-fed baby. Mom was riveted to the cell phone in front of her, one thumb swiping, swiping, up and up. A stab of jealously ran through me. Not a pang, no, a stab, a punch to the gut of wishing I was again a mom with a baby asleep on her shoulder, instead of being the mom coming back from a business trip to a house full of teens and young adults who will be leaving me soon.
I wanted to shout at the mom, “Stop! Pay attention! Feel that baby! Smell that soft, yummy, sleep-sweaty skin! This lasts for the briefest moment in time, don’t miss it!” Instead, I kept walking. And I’m still thinking about it this morning.
Yes, I realize the mom was probably trying to arrange a ride, or communicate with relatives about a lost bag. Yes, she was tired. Maybe just enjoying a bit of Facebook. Yes, I know. But this isn’t about her. This is about me. And you. This is about pain and regret.
My kids are great. They turned out to be spectacular human beings (even with a mom that worked!). And, thank God, I get to have vibrant and wonderful relationships with these amazing human adults for years to come. And I am grateful for that.
But I missed so much during their fleeting infancy and youth. And that does hurt, no getting around it.
You work too, or you wouldn’t be here. When you are there, girl, be there. When the baby is yummy-warm-sleeping on your shoulder, or gumming away on your finger, remember to mark that moment. Sear it into your memory. Appreciate it for the fleeting glimpse of heaven that it is.
Life passes quickly. Make sure that you are spending yours in a way that you will look back on with the most content, and the least regret possible.