As we head in to the Holiday Season, I encourage you to pause and reflect on what it means to be a parent. I recently read a quote of an unknown author, "The days are long, but the years are fast." My interpretation of this as a parent (and a Pediatrician) is that we often get bogged down in the daily "stuff" -- laundry, kid transportation, cleaning, doctor visits, etc -- that our days become so long. I find myself looking forward to bedtime after a full day at the office followed by all the evening chores and kid activities. But here I am with a child ready to graduate from high school and I can't believe I had roughly 6500 days of "stuff" with her, but only 18 very short years. I try often, but not often enough, to just watch her as she studies or competes in her sport. Just watching seems to make the time slow down. I think this satisfies "the living in the moment mantra" we hear so often these days or the "mindfulness mantra." Take time to just watch your kids, whether they are 8 months or 18 years, your day may feel more fulfilled and you will experience a richer 18 years knowing you "watched" your child grow up.
Katrina Hood, MD