Jan28

A Week at a Time

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“They grow up so fast.”
“You better enjoy them while you can.”
“They will be gone before you know it.”

That’s what old parents like me say to young parents.
I’m not really sure why.
It’s probably because that’s what someone said to us when our kids were young.
So we feel like we are responsible to pass it along.

One day I am fully expecting a young mom or dad to respond with. . .
“Actually I wish they would grow up a little faster.”
or “No. I haven’t enjoyed them at all today.”
or “That’s sad. Why can’t they go somewhere now?”

Okay, so maybe no parent would dare say that out loud.
But what is a parent supposed to
feel
do
say
when someone makes them feel like time is running out with their kids?

Admit it. Don’t you sometimes feel like it’s just another way of saying. . .

“You better get your act together as a parent because you’re running out of time. The future of your children is coming like a freight train, and if you’re not careful you will miss out on what’s important and mess them up for the rest of their life.”

Maybe the next time an older parent says something like that to you, you should drop to your knees, grab them around the leg and burst into tears. Then ask them, “Oh no, how did you know that? Please tell me what am I supposed to do?”

Okay, that may be a little too dramatic. But the point is time is moving faster than many of us realize. Somewhere there is a clock counting down the number of weeks you have left with your kids before they move on. If you stop to think about it, a lot can happen in a single week!

Here’s a list of possible milestones for a child growing up today:

Cries week 0
Stays up all night week 2
Coos week 10
Crawls week 30
Throws mashed peas week 35
Stands week 40
Babbles week 50
Walks week 60
Flushes valuables week 70
Connects words week 80
Brushes teeth week 90
Colors the walls week 110
Goes on the potty week 130
Begins Kindergarten week 260
Gets visited by the Tooth Fairy week 338
Loses training wheels week 364
Brings homework you don’t understand week 416
Multiplies week 442
Stops believing in Santa week 468
Rolls eyes week 468
Outgrows the kids menu week 494
Wears deoderant week 520
Starts thinking they’re smarter than you week 572
Enters Middle School week 572
Gets braces week 597
Stays up all night week 624
Legally posts on Facebook week 676
Starts High School week 728
Asks to date week 728
Shaves week 730
Gets first paycheck week 806
Drives week 832
Is allowed to date week 832
Takes the SAT week 858
Visits colleges week 884
Graduates High School week 936

Considering the potential of what can happen in a week, let’s spend this next week on Orange Parents thinking about how to simplify the daunting task of 936 weeks of parenting our kids through childhood. What if we started thinking about how to parent just one week at a time?

First, what milestones would you add to this list?