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Easter means another year toward the end of childhood
April 8, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
The approach of Easter has me realizing the passage of time, and the very finite amount of time we have with our children when they’re young.
It was something that was mentioned about coloring Easter eggs, maybe on the radio, maybe in a newspaper article, that got me realizing that that’s a time of shared joy that is gone from our house.
Truth is, it’s been gone for years, though The Drummer does still say, “Aww, you colored the eggs, Mom, doggone it” when The Boss spends part of the day on the Saturday before Easter coloring eggs. Fact is, The Drummer, like his sister before him, gave up coloring eggs years ago, though No. 1 child now colors eggs for her daughter, and, hopefully with her daughter.
This isn’t about coloring eggs, per se, nor is it about religion per se, though both topics are what set me to thinking. Watching “Field of Dreams” when Ray says, “Hey, Dad! You want to have a catch?” really sent home the point. I’d give my left arm (I’d need the right to throw) to have a catch with my dad and my brother when the Home Office in Wichita and I were just kids.
I can’t go back in time and re-do anything with my kids that I may have missed, messed or forgotten, but I can hope that you, who have kids, or who have children with children, can enforce upon yourselves as parents that the amount of time we get to spend with our kids when they’re little is very, very finite.
My grand-nephew in Colorado, who still is locked up in my mind as an infant and a toddler and a seven-year-old, depending on the day, turned 10 today (Happy Birthday, Mr. Skyler!). People who were kids when my wife and I married and moved to Toronto now have children in high school.
All I know is that every time I think I screwed up, that I spent too much time newspapering, ranting about politics or just plain working, it’s gratifying to have one kid or the other say that, no, I was pretty much there when needed. (I dilute what they say with that “pretty much” because I think I have two overly kind children.)
So, consider that you only get to be a parent, or grandparent, for a few years with little ones in the house. Never, ever, complain about the demands on time, for living in that children’s world is a gift we get for ourselves when we were little (if we were blessed with great parents as I was), and again with our children and if we’re lucky, our grandchildren.
The late George Mavromatis, Steubenville’s long time tough-guy police chief, granted me the last interview of his life with the Herald-Star many years ago. Old and ill but with flashes of that tough-guy still there, as the interview ended, Mavromatis grabbed my hands.
“You got kids? Love them and hold onto them for everything you have. They are all that matters,” he said. He had lost a daughter to illness a few years before and it wiped him out. But he made me remember that interview over many, many others I’ve had. Over all the police chief stuff, that’s the part I take with me from his life, every day.
It’s an important matter, this stuff about considering our legacy with our kids.
Enjoy every one of those moments. They’re fast and fleeting and making them burn brightly as memories means the value of those moments won’t be lost to time.
Nor on the kids.
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