I know this seems weird, but, this has not happened since November – all the Zeilers are in the same state! I know it is odd to have that thought, but I did as I lay in bed the other night. Yes, these are the type of thoughts I have in my downtime – I concluded that whether traveling, being a snowbird or at college, we have not been “in the vicinity” at the same time in eight months. I have the chance, once again, to reflect on how fleeting time can be, how precious it is to spend time together and how blessed I feel when these times occur. As our children grow up and take on lives of their own, being together will change and take on new meaning. For now, I focus on enjoying the time we have.
Spending time as a family was something I learned while growing up. My parents always believed that we should always eat dinner as a family. I remember eating over friends houses for dinner and it was just my friend and I, or the two us plus his sibling(s). I did not comment on it aloud, but found it “different” from what I was used to. When we became parents, it was important for Debbie and me to have our dinners with our girls. It was a chance to share what we did during the day, have an open line of communication and discuss any issues we needed to. They may be all grown up, but we still eat dinner and other meals together as a family. Even at “family dinners,” we always sat together, instead of having an adult dinner and a children dinner.
When we were a young family, there seemed to be a lot of time and opportunities to spend together. As we have all gotten older, the amount of potential time spent together has changed and has become more sparse. I have always like the song, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” by Harry Chapin, but found it haunting and sad. Here was the story of a father that was too busy for time to spend with his child and once he had the time, the lessons learned (through actions) came to fruition and the son had no time for him. The old adage “what goes around, comes around” has some merit. We spent a lot of time with our children, involved with sports, activities and time together. We never thought about the day they would decide to move out – we spent the time together because we wanted to, and we still do. We love being a family.
I know that this summer’s time together is short-lived, with Bec still a student and about to leave us for the summer for her internship. We are excited for her opportunity, even as we miss her. And Gab? Though she would like to find a job close by, there is still the chance that she will have to look further away to find what she is looking for. Time together is precious. Enjoy your children and spend time with them while you can. Enjoy spending time with your spouse while you can. Enjoy the time with your parents while you can. Life is fleeting, so the times we have to spend together must be important. Life is busy and we are all active, so when the time comes to be together, we live in the moment and enjoy each other. And when we are apart, we look forward to the next time we can spend as a family.