One of my favorite parenting sites, Parenthacks, has been posting short profiles of some of their users. Each has been asked to give their one-line parenting motto, and the the many different answers have fascinated me. How does one encapsulate the entirety of their parenting philosophy in a pithy slogan?
I tend to focus on the finish line. I go through a day or season or year thinking about the next step, next phase, next goal in life. Some of my biggest regrets have to do with stretches of my life I wasted working toward that next thing (or worse, just waiting) without enjoying each day in itself. It affects my parenting, as well. I think about the kind of adult I hope Puppy will grow into, or the kind of behavior I want him have as a toddler. I look ahead to what he may become when who he is sits right in front of me.
But I've noticed that changing in me when I am with him. He giggles as we spin across the kitchen floor or stops in the yard to carefully examine a fallen leaf. And suddenly I am nowhere but present with him, soaking up every drop of that moment before it passes. Seeing him as he is now.
It turns out I too have a motto, one which rose up organically from life with Puppy. Today only comes once. On the hard days, it reminds me that tomorrow will be different--maybe not better, but at least not this day again. And on those many other days, it reminds me that this moment in Puppy's life--and in mine--will never come again. It draws me into the fullness of our life together as it is right now.
Today only comes once. And I am not going to miss it.