This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. –Psalm 118:24
Our 5-year-old started kindergarten a few weeks ago, and watching him get excited every morning is, as he would say, “as sweet as honey.” He has been setting out his clothes the night before, is up and ready to go in the morning as early as we will allow, and finds that being able to take his lunch to school is such a big deal. He gets up and attacks the day head on with the best attitude each and every day.
Now, little kids might not be able to explain what being grateful for each day means, but they are perfect people to watch in order to learn how to do it and to remind us that each day is a gift from God. When you are little you treat each day as a new adventure; you are excited and you give the day your all without even giving it a second thought.
In watching my son prepare for and carry out his days I realized that in general I do a pretty good job of cherishing each day, but when my husband is on a trip for work—whether it is for a weekend or two weeks, I do an awful job at this. I immediately start wishing my hours and days to pass as fast as possible until his return. Why don’t I continue to enjoy my days?
I got to thinking of how ungrateful it is of me to wish these precious days away just because he cannot be with us. What a huge amount of special, uninterrupted time with my boys I was mentally throwing away because I felt guilty for going to do the really fun things without the whole family being present.
When I was a child, my parents worked jobs roughly from 8-5 and therefore, my siblings and parents were together every night and every weekend. So for me today, maybe I try to hold onto saving the super memorable and fun things for when we can all be together. Although, in our family today, I am learning that it is not going to be possible to try to wait until we can all be together in order to have certain experiences.
It is difficult to see my husband missing out on so much of what we do together, but I am learning to be grateful for the extra special alone time that I do get to spend with our boys. They are such a delight to be around: funny, loving and they especially enjoy being silly. Plus, I have noticed that when we do get to spend time all together, it makes life sweeter than honey. Enjoy each day to the fullest and give thanks for it; another day is the grandest gift you will ever receive.
Melanie Sextro is a military wife and mother to two sweet boys. She is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City.