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The Best Times in Your Child's Life Are -- Now

Remember, the 1985 movie, "Back to the Future"? Starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, it was a fun, campy, semi-sci-fi flick about a young teenager (Fox) who travels back in time to save his own existence. He has to make sure his future parents actually meet and fall in love. A nutty scientist, Doc Brown (Lloyd), invents a time machine that Fox uses to travel back into the past. Once the teen, Marty McFly, accomplishes his goal, Doc Brown delivers the line that is the title of the film, saying, "I have to get back to the future!" Sometime I think it would be so great to visit the future; to see how things turn out.

That tantalizing thought is more pronounced, now that I am a mother, than ever before.

How will my daughter, Lynlee, turn out? Will she be a musician, lawyer, or veterinarian (had to throw that in!)? Will she be funny, or serious, or reflective, or gregarious? Will she be slow and steady like her father; or full-steam ahead like her mother?

I find myself looking forward to what is coming as a parent. When Lynlee was born, I couldn't wait until she could smile. When she could smile, I couldn't wait until she could sit up. When she could sit up, I couldn't wait until she could crawl. And now that she is crawling, I am tingling with anticipation for when she can talk.

She babbles now....constantly. The variety and character of the sounds she makes are fascinating. From the time she opens her eyes in the morning until her last blink at night, she is vocalizing. Squeals, hums, yelps, coos, you name it, she has something to "say." Of course, I can't speak baby, so I have no idea what all this "talking" is about, and I am on pins and needles to find out. Will her first word be "Dada" or "Mama?" You can guess which one I am coaching her to say!

But I must be careful. The future is for the future. I must savor every moment NOW. One of the best pieces of advice that I received while I was pregnant was to enjoy every second, don't rush, because time flies by so fast. And that is absolutely true. It seems like just yesterday Lynlee was a newborn. Now, 9 months later, she has two teeth, eats Cheerios by herself, and can stand up. Where has the time gone? So every now and then, I remind myself to pay attention to what's happening this very instant. It won't last long and when it's gone, I will miss it. I don't want to look up one day and say, "How did I miss this?" or "How did that get past me?"

It's hard, sometimes, to calm down and just enjoy the present. While we are spending our time and energy thinking about what is to come, we can easily miss what is right before us. So, while a visit to the future is a pretty nifty plotline for a movie, staying firmly planted in the here and now is the best script for real life.

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