Are We Taking Our Kids for Granted?

The beautiful seasons of parentingThe beautiful seasons of parentingLast weekend, we stole a few moments in our backyard - just Ken, me and that beaming little gal that made us a family. And it was… glorious. Of all the seasons I've experienced as a parent, fall has been my favorite. The crisp air, home cooking, weekend adventures and light, bundled-up layers have been such a welcome change of pace from a hot, frenzied and busy summer. And between the afternoon sunshine and impromptu tickles, I realized something…

With every change of season, it's easy to forget how wonderful that rush of "firsts" feels. The first time you're forced to layer your down comforter on the bed. The first time you spot frost on the windshield of your car in the early morning hours. The first sprout of golden orange you spot on the leaves of your backyard trees.

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And then, soon enough, the season becomes routine and everyday, and we take those "firsts" for granted. Such is life as parents, yes? First words turn into first sentences, and first sentences turn into first paragraphs, and first paragraphs turn into countless, persistent (loud!) questions, and suddenly those questions become so routine, so everyday that we forget what a miracle it is to have a child that can communicate with us. We forget what a miracle it is to have a child at all.

And then one day, the questions stop. Our children grow independent or reserved or self-sufficient and we long for the "firsts" - for that wonderful season of growth and beauty and leaves of gold.

Fall is here - and winter is right around the corner. Here's to pumpkins and paragraphs, marshmallows and milestones. Here's to embracing the magic of these everyday moments and seizing the season we're in, whatever that may be.

- By Erin Loechner

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