The other day our baby played his first prank.
I was holding him on my hip as I talked with a friend. It was time for us to leave so I instructed him, “We gotta go, Judson. Say ‘bye’ to Shami.”
“Bah bah!” he repeated as he waved his little hand in the air. Then he leaned toward my friend with his lips puckered. “Oh! Look Shami, he wants to kiss you!” Shami was delighted by Judson’s show of affection. Giggling, she leaned her cheek toward him to receive a kiss.
My son leaned in for the kiss and then at the last second he turned and planted that kiss squarely on my cheek and laughed. Baby’s first prank — I was so proud!
Children grow up so fast, don’t they? Not a day goes by when I don’t say this to myself or hear it from someone else.
But I don’t always live like this is true; I suffer from bouts of parental amnesia.
Parental amnesia is not just where you walk into a room and forget why you’re carrying the laundry basket with four dirty coffee mugs in it. That’s called normal. Parental amnesia is where we forget about two things: tomorrow and eternity.
First, we forget that Lord-willing our children will grow up to be adults. I have a hard time imagining my 5-year-old as a 35-year-old or a 65-year-old. Her big goals right now are waiting patiently for her first loose tooth and learning to tell what time it is. Sometimes I think she’ll be five forever and do five-year-old things forever.
Second, we forget that our children are more than just potential adults. They are people made in God’s image and they have eternal souls. When the mundane looms larger than eternal life we forget who God is, who we are, and who our children are.
We tend to forget about tomorrow and eternity when our day is filled with the tyranny of the urgent. Do you ever feel like that ball in the arcade game that ricochets off the walls? Supervise homework while diverting toddlers from swishing their arms in the toilet! Hand down verdicts in Mother’’ Court about whose toy it really is! No wonder it’s hard to keep an eternal perspective.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]