Pete Seeger adapted Ecclesiastes 3.1 for the lyrics to his song Turn! Turn! Turn! The song soulfully announces, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-“ Each time I talk to my daughter I am reminded of the wisdom in those verses. Kathryn is the mother of a three-year old and twin eight month olds, a job and passion that require all of Kathryn's mental and physical strength. About a year ago, her oldest child Lucy was spending "naptime" quietly in her room. When Kathryn opened her door to say that naptime was over, she discovered that Lucy had drawn on the wall over her bed. Not drawn exactly but created a mural size drawing on her freshly painted walls. Needless to say, Kathryn was not pleased. Of course when the grandmothers were shown a picture of Lucy's afternoon endeavor, we laughed and praised our grandchild for an extraordinary sense of balance, color and symmetry. Her parent did not respond to our comments and repainted the room in silence.
We are in different seasons of our life. Now is Kathryn's time to be the parent, the one who sets the rules and enforces them, the one who strives to raise a healthy, educated, law abiding human being. It is my time to be the grandmother, the one who defers to the rules as set by her parents but will occasionally advocate for chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and buy my granddaughter Dora the Explorer shoes when asked. I know my grandchildren are in good hands so I leave the worrying to their parents.
I embrace this season of my life in a manner that I did not at other times. There is an advantage to aging. You learn along the way that the good times may not last but neither do the bad times. You recognize that working hard for a goal may be more rewarding than actually obtaining the goal. Today, I work to balance between being in the moment and planning for the future. I live in the knowledge that at this time of my life, it is not wise to procrastinate. I am not old. I know that. But I have witnessed the journey that took me from being a young mother to a young grandmother more quickly than I could have imagined when I started my family. I don't want to be lulled into believing that this next season of my life will move any more slowly.
I ask you, what lessons of life have you learned? What piece of wisdom would you share with your children or a younger you?