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Life isn’t all picture-perfect moments with your kids. Some days you’re tired and grumpy, and so are they. But father-of-two, Grant Medcalf says he’s learning to embrace all of the moments he spends with his kids – even the difficult ones.
You’ve had a long day at the office, the business you were hoping to conclude didn’t materialise, and traffic was a nightmare on the way home. You’re tired and a little irritable, and all you want to do is kick off your shoes and have a little downtime, but you’re greeted at the door by a frustrated mom who’s ready to explode, as your two snotty-nosed kids are not co-operating, and don’t want to eat.
You now have to negotiate with a two-year-old and try to get him to eat, otherwise you know he is going to wake you up in the middle of the night because he is hungry. And you can’t do another sleepless night!
You manage to get through the ‘crazy hour’ of eating, bathing and brushing teeth, and get them ready for bed. At this point it would be easy to rush through the bedtime stories or even skip them completely and get them to sleep.
But from past experience I have learnt to embrace these special moments, even when it’s been a rough day and feels like a chore, as I know that reading a book in bed with my kids is not going to last forever and will soon become a thing of the past. Events in my past made me more conscious of this happening faster than most people realise.
Many years ago I met and got into a relationship with a single mom. She was mom to Jamie Lee, who was three years old at the time we started dating. Over the seven-odd years that her mom and I were together, Jamie and I built a strong bond. So when things didn’t work out and we parted ways, the hardest thing was not having Jamie around and being part of her daily life.
Jamie and I kept in touch and still see each other, but what’s frightening to me is that she turns 21 in a month’s time! It felt like just yesterday that she was this sweet little girl, but in a blink of an eye she is all grown up.
The big lesson I learnt from this earlier chapter of my life, is to make sure that I embrace every moment with my kids, because in a blink of an eye they too will become teenagers and want to spend more time with friends than the folks. And then they’ll turn 21 and move out and start their own lives in the real world.
My boy, Luke, just turned three and my daughter, Mila, says she is “four to five”. I know that before I know it they will be 21 and all grown up, so I remind myself constantly to embrace every moment, even the little things that might feel like a chore at times.