Dealing With The 'Necessary'

Published 5:39 pm Thursday, April 14, 2011

A collection of doll-sized outfits hung drying from the rod over the shower the other morning. There were, among others, several pale pink dresses, a pair of blue jean overalls, and a pullover pajama top.

Mama had been cleaning out some of the little one's old outfits in preparation for an upcoming sale. There's no need to hang onto size twos any longer at the Chapman home. The girl who once had a single group of strands of blonde hair and toddled about is now ten.

The wife had just moments before warned me before I made the trip down the hall and laid eyes on them that I would be sad.

She hadn't actually told me what would make me sad with her warning, what I would see. But, rather, as I paused there just inside the door, gazing on the freshly washed clothes, there were no moans of depressed air exhaling from me, but a brief “ha,” (as in a slight laugh) instead. Seeing the collection had stirred up memories.

Happy ones.

Life is a fast track. We look down when we're involved in the daily run and rarely pause to reflect on just how far we've come, much less think about what lies around the bend.

It is the moment, that which is urgent and demands attention is what seems to matter the most-from the time we had to do everything for our children, to watching as their single-word sentences begin to run on and on, and then they're off to school where a parent's left to wonder exactly what they're doing all day.

It's all part of the journey that we need to reflect on and appreciate.

It's easy to fall into a wretched daily-living pattern-get them up and ready to go to school, deal with drama of the day, the homework and all the rest of the necessary preparation for the next day's set of hurdles before bedtime.

Then rewind and do it all over again.

Before we know it, another school year is done, and we're left to wonder, did we spend enough time with our child or had we done enough as parents or even spoiled them a bit too much?

Yes, I know, one day those tiny little outfits will be replaced by a prom dress with high heels and the ringing phone will no longer just be her friends calling to talk about animals or stories or games or homework assignments.

When she will no longer run back down the driveway to give her dad another hug before getting on the school bus or ask if she can ask me a question.

Snapshots in time.

Tidbits of life to treasure, and all part of a daily journey.

So, let's all pause, look up and enjoy the moment, the daily routine of the “necessary.”

Even in the “necessary”-that which must be done-there is much to appreciate.