Saturday, July 17, 2010

Holding Hands and Holding the Moment

On Friday, we had a chance to go to "Family Night" over at the Boy Scout Camp.

Boo was wrapping up his week at the BSA camp and it was a chance for the families to go over and have dinner with their scouts and attend campfire. It was fun except for Pumpkin Girl getting eaten by the mosquitos.

Afterwards, it was dark so I walked Boo back to the campsite. And we had a chance to hold hands almost the whole way back.

It was a surprise and it was great.

You see, Boo is 11 now and we hardly hold hands anymore. Nothing deliberate - I just got used to holding his little sister's hand and his little brother's hands and darn it - I am out of hands!

Then it dawned on me one day that I don't hold Boo's hand anymore.

And it was kind of sad.

I remembered my Mom telling me the story recently about how my oldest brother had held my Dad's hand recently as they were crossing the street. My Dad told my Mom that he had not held my brother's hand in over 30 years! And my Dad liked it.

I suddenly thought - had I missed it?! Had Boo somehow outgrown holding my hand and now I would have to wait for my 30 years or so until he would hold my hand again?

I wish that life had better signposts sometimes. Sometimes you know that an event is momentous and will be the last time. High school graduation, weddings, - you know that the moment is important and you better pay attention because it is about to pass.

But most of the time, you don't realize a key part of your life has just passed until you look back. It really happens with your children. The last time you take a bath with your child before they suddenly are too old. The last time you sleep with them because they have a nightmare and then you realize that they don't come to your bed anymore. The last time you hold their hand.

We get so busy with the relentless grind of life that we look up and suddenly "POOF" - our little child is grown!

We all know that but then there are the demands of work, of social engagements, of church. We have to shop and cook and clean. But if we are not careful we miss something special along the way. We may have the tidiest house in the neighborhood but we have missed something more important.

Holding hands, lying in the shade and picking out cloud shapes are not distractions from your life - they are the moments of your life!

None of us know what the future holds. I hope that this moment of holding Boo's hand was not the last. But I treasured it like it was.

In your hectic life, try to take a moment this week to focus - not on the plans for the week, or what is on your checklist - but to focus on a moment as if it were the last. What would you say to your children, your spouse?

Would it be that you love them? That any problems you may be having are minor when compared to the larger picture of eternity?

There have been moments in my life where I have prayed for death. But I have learned that every day is a blessing. That it is an opportunity to make things right, especially with the people that I most love - and most often hurt. That every moment may be the last and so it should not be wasted.

And I am going to try to hold hands as long as I can because I am not going to wait for 30 years! And I am going to hold on to the moment! Tomorrow may not be promised to me but I have right now!

Just like you!


  1. Phil,
    I am having similiar feelings. We took the kiddos to Toy Story 3 the other night, and made me think we only have 5 years left before our oldest will graduate and be the one heading off to college.
    So yesterday instead of getting him up and out of bed, I crawled in and snuggled him. Here, I'm getting all emotional again. . .but I can't help feeling this wonderful time in my life, with my children surrounding me, is flying by too fast.
    You know, with all the bears, coyotes and cougars in your neck of the woods, you may have years and years of hand holding. Heck, I want you to hold my hand if I need to go to the car after dark next time I visit!

  2. Good for you Tami! Time does fly - that's why we have to grab as much of it as we can. Cherish the moment because it won't last. Ha. Ha. Yes, let's all hold each other's hands!