“We need to pick a night and go for dinner and a movie,” my youngest daughter announced last week. “We never do anything just the two of us any more.”
Her words hit home with the mental thud of a frying pan upside my head. Since moving to Pennsylvania last May after my spouse and I married, our time together has been different. Sure, we took a couple of trips to New York to see shows, but dedicated time for a girls’ night out has been seldom.
Tonight after her rehearsal, we took off to neighboring Hanover for some quality time. We had good conversation over a simple dinner and then went to see War Horse, both the restaurant and the film her choices. It was good to spend time with her, even if she did tease me mercilessly about my waterworks during the film.
Too often the ones closest too us get the short shrift of our time and energy. We assume there will always be tomorrow and another opportunity. We tell ourselves that surely our loved one will understand if we are busy earning money to ensure their livelihood. We forget how quickly time passes and how fast things change.
In a few short months my daughter will be off to college. Those familiar and plaintive calls for assistance will be fewer with three hours between us. Even the requests for money will likely be less frequent. My “baby girl” is 18. My oldest daughter is 24. It seems like just yesterday that I held them in my arms and whispered to them all the things we would do together, the places we would see, and what wonderful women they would become.
They’re on their way — both of them — to becoming amazing women, making their own choices, experiencing successes and failures, taking life by the horns and charting their own unique courses. Yes, things change. Life goes on. Time might as well sprout wings and fly.
So, dear friends, don’t take those you love for granted. Make time for them now. This present moment is the only one you have. Put aside your work. Skip your own hobby and do something your loved one wants to do. Be there for the ones who matter to you before it’s too late. The price of dinner and a movie is really quite a small one to pay for time that can never be replaced or replayed.
Thank you, dear daughter, for making time for me and for reminding me of what’s really important. I had fun. I’m proud of you. Yes, I’m proud of both my girls, and I love you with all my heart.
Photo by Dave Parker used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!