Sometimes when someone dies, we consider that we should have spent more time with them. That we should have treasured them more while they were here. Prioritizing people and relationships is a good thing, an important thing, especially in our fast-paced, workaholic world. It occurred to me then, that small children demand we spend more time with them not just because they need care, which they do, but because we want to know them in whatever stage they are, before that stage “dies.” My four-year-old niece will not always wander around the house randomly singing out “la la la,” and chuckling to herself, but it is something fun to behold. We benefit from seeing this and from living in the moment, even while we continue to frame having kids as being a lot of work, and costing much, which it also does. Perhaps when we have fewer children around, which in modern western society is certainly the case, we don’t live in the moment quite as much.
On the flip side, I might be over thinking things, because in a bygone era when people had lots of kids, it’s hard to consider that they would have had any time to really notice these small “la la la” moments. Perhaps noticing these things are one of God’s gifts to visiting Aunties, gifts I will happily accept.
Why this came to me as I drifted off to sleep last night, I don’t know.