Not So Fast...



My nephew is in Afghanistan. Although I have always remembered our troops in my prayers, I have never had anyone to pray for by name before. And now, when I listen to the headlines of the Today Show as I eat my cereal every morning, I find that I am holding my breath every time there is a mention of Afghanistan. I don’t have to worry about my children (too much) yet as I know where they are all day/every day, but I am eager for the day that my nephew comes home safely.

My kids (in their Easter best above!) do not know that their cousin is at war. I would like to keep it that way because obviously, they wouldn’t understand. My husband recently received an e-mail from my nephew with some pictures from Afghanistan. One of the pictures is of him holding an enormous gun. Although I would be tremendously proud if one of my sons (or daughters) grows up and enters the armed forces, I am just not ready to explain how their cousin is a “good guy”…even when holding a huge rifle!

Most of my nieces and nephews are far away, but we actually live in the same city as my nephew who is in Afghanistan (ironically, my husband and his brother both relocated to Harrisburg in 2005 for their jobs). And, because I substitute taught at his high school, I actually got to spend a fair amount of time with my nephew. Unlike some high school kids (who would pretend they didn’t know their aunt!), he would come to find me during his free periods (or ask me to sign his pass so he could be late to class!) just to chat. He was easygoing, fun, and just a good kid. I’m so glad that I had a chance to form a relationship with him.

This brings me to the point of this post. Namely, how fast it seems my nephew grew up! How did he go from a goofy junior in high school to a respected officer in our armed forces (who is putting his life on the line to protect my family)!? It seems it happened in a flash.

And, I realize that my own children are growing up just as fast. BUT, I just do not feel that it is fast right now! In fact, it often feels that the days are endless and that my current struggles have no end in sight!

I was at a play date recently with a couple of very good friends. One of them is in the process of building her dream house. She was saying that she really wanted a dining room…even though she barely uses her current one…because she dreams of the day when her four children will come home from college to grace their dining room table.

And, I allowed myself a quick flash forward to my future (please God!). It was wonderful…accompanied with feelings of, “I can’t wait!” I could see all of my healthy, beautiful children grown up and happy to see me and each other. In my vision, I was serving a meal and no one was complaining; there was only praise for my efforts. And then, I actually sat down and enjoyed the meal with them! And, I accepted as one of my daughters offered to do the dishes.

My daydream was short (I had a baby clinging to me and I was trying to calm down a melting toddler), but it was lovely. I really do NOT want my life to pass by in a flash (although it really is), and I am enjoying the precious fleeting moments of childhood, but it was comforting for me to think that we might all actually make it (I’m not sure that I’m going to make to bedtime most days!).

When I think about my nephew in Afghanistan, I realize how quickly life is passing by. And, though my days are extremely intense right now, they are also jam packed with graces and blessings.

So, although I do want my children to become more independent and for my days to be less frazzled, I must conclude…not so fast!

Copyright 2013 Trish Bolster


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