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My wife took this adorable picture of our son.

“I can’t wait until you are old enough to…” I’ve said this to my almost two-year old son countless times during his less than two years of life. I can’t wait until we can play baseball together…go fishing…play board games…you’re potty trained…and others. I look forward to those things immensely. As crazy as it sounds, I’m even looking forward to teaching him to drive and talking to him about girls and how to treat them. Sure, I’m excited, but I can wait. I will wait. In all honesty, I want to wait. I don’t really want him to grow up too fast. I don’t want to miss out on the awkward times when he can’t throw a ball and he constantly jumps from one toy to the next without stopping.

I say things about wanting him to grow up and wishing he were able to do these things, but I don’t really want it to happen today. I want to enjoy those years when “meaningful conversation” is trying to coax a mumbled, “I love you” out of him. I’m excited for those years when he is experienced in things, but I also want to cherish those firsts. Someday, he will be able to catch a baseball on his own, but today he still needs my help. Someday, he will drive himself around without so much as a second thought, but today he has to spend those moments in the car with me.

I won’t have to wait too long. If there is one thing I’ve learned from the countless parents I’ve talked to, he’ll grow up before I know it and I’ll be wishing I had this time back. Rather than wishing I had it back, I’m going to take full advantage of it now. I’d encourage you to do the same.

How are you taking advantage of time spent with your children today? How are you equipping and encouraging the families in your church to do the same?