A few days ago, I watched some old home videos.
I watched a video of our wedding day. We looked almost impossibly young in that video. We were freshly out of college and the love we had for each other on that day still shines brightly.
I saw the video of the day our first child was born. I was almost scared to hold him. He seemed so tiny and fragile and I was so afraid that I wouldn’t know how to take care of him.
I watched the video of the day our second child, our daughter, was born. Her big, round eyes were already studying the world around her.
I watched a video of a day that I spent with my oldest child when he was about two and a half. We played at the park together. He wanted to go down the tall slide, but he was afraid, so he asked me to go down with him.
I watched a video of our daughter walking onto the stage at her first Christmas play, when she was two. She stood there looking at the crowd for a moment, then proceeded to show off her little brown shoes that she was so proud of.
I saw a video of the day our third child was born. I was no longer afraid to hold a baby and was completely adept at wrapping him comfortably in a blanket.
I watched a video of my son riding a bike without training wheels for the first time. I saw my daughter absolutely beaming as she completed an elaborate art project. I saw my youngest son make an incredible mess as he taught himself how to eat.
Today, I only need to look around the house to see two children in elementary school and another in preschool.
The oldest is starting to spend a lot of time reading independently and asks a lot of insightful questions. He doesn’t sit on my lap much anymore, though, because he thinks he’s too old for that.
Our daughter spends every spare moment drawing pictures and dressing up in costumes. She creates the sunniest, happiest pictures I’ve ever seen and loves it when I pick her up, swing her in the air, and let her touch the ceiling.
When our youngest child sees me when I pick him up from preschool, he comes running across the playground or the classroom screaming “DADDY! DADDY!” and leaps into my arms.
And then, there’s Sarah. She’s changed from this wonderful and intelligent and thoughtful young woman that I fell in love with into a compassionate, mature, and amazing mother and wife.
The things we have in our life that we take for granted are fleeting. I will never be able to hold my oldest like a baby again. I will never again see the pure carefree and inquisitive nature of my wife in her college years. My daughter will likely never again ride the tricycle that she loved so much.
There is no time better than right now to enjoy all of those things you have in your life. A dinner out at a restaurant or a new gadget might be tempting, but when they distract you for even a moment from all of the amazing and beautiful fleeting things in your life, you’re missing out.
Spend less money. Spend more time.