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Message I learned 36 years ago about loving your child or yourself at each age.
                                      ENJOY THE AGE THAT YOU ARE

              Thank you, Ann Landers.

              My son was twelve, my daughter, eleven, and my baby girl was one month old when I read an "Ann Lander's column" that is still important to my children, grandchildren and me.  Her reader told a story that has, I believe, given me a special code to live by.

         The story began with one of Ann's reader's story about her mother's death.  She wrote that she accepted the task of sorting her mother's clothes, household and treasured things.  Little did she know that she would find a letter that her mother wrote to her on her 5th birthday.

         Just the envelope with her name on it touched her heart and brought tears to her eyes.  It was yellowed and crisp so she opened it carefully.  She read words of greatest value about her mother wrote about her epiphany and the profound lesson that she learned that day:

My precious daughter:  Today, you are celebrating your 5th birthday and I watched you play with your gifts and friends.  Suddenly, I realized that the thoughts sweeping through my head, were wrong.  I am writing this letter to ask your forgiveness and to make you a promise.
         "I realized I have not been fair to you. You see, regardless of your age or your development, I wished you were older and would quickly arrive at the next stage.  When you were an infant in arms, I wanted you to crawl. When you were crawling, I wanted you to walk.  When you were talking "baby talk" and could not tell me your needs, I wanted you to talk.  And today, I wanted you to be older and more independent.
         "Suddenly, it occurred to me that I did not take special moments to enjoy you and what you were doing at each stage and age of your life.  I have missed something I should have treasured, and you have missed what I did not do.  Please forgive me.
         "I promise that from this day forward, I will take note of what you do every day at every age.  Now that you are 5 and it is the last year before you go to school, I will enjoy your age.  When you are 6, I will enjoy you and what you do at that age.  In other words, I will enjoy the age that you are and the stage of life that you celebrate, for the rest of our lives.
          "I love you very much. 

         The article impacted my heart soundly.  I clipped it from the newspaper, framed it and placed it on the wall in front of my kitchen sink where I read it every day and practice the message. 

         I applied it as my children grew older and taught them to practice it in their own lives.  When son was twelve and I knew he would never again be at the crossroad between boyhood and adolescence.  My daughter soon entered that same stage in her development.  I taught them to: "Enjoy the age that you are, for you will never be that age again." 

              My baby was finding her tongue one day and I drew the family around to watch her focus intently while she swirled her tiny tongue around her lips as if it was something amazing. We giggled as she kept trying to catch it with her tiny fingers.  A few days later, she had forgotten the newness of her tongue and was working to get her big toe into her mouth.  Together we enjoyed the stages of life as she became a girl and then a woman. 

         When my grandchildren were born, I reiterated the message to their parents:  "Enjoy the age that your child is, because you get only one chance to do it."

         My seven grandchildren also received the same message.  In fact, the oldest among them chanted it with me to the next child and the next.  Today when my family is together, all of those present join me in saying, "Remember, enjoy the age that you are because you'll never be that age again."  Then, they laughingly tease me because I have said it so many times.

         I practice the same message in my own life.  At sixty-eight, I know I will never be this age again, nor have the same level of health---both body and mind.  I know I am on the downward side of life. 

                When death is at my door,and it will be, I will probably remind my children and myself that we must find a level of joy as well as peace, as I cross over to the spiritual side of this life.  Then, I hope to enjoy my path and carry the same message with me every step of the way.

  My daughter responded to this item.  Her response below shows how she has responded to my message as a child and now as an adult with her own 4 yr old girl.  It is amazing how easily parents can instill good (or bad) messages to children.  My daughter, Beverly, now 36 wrote: 


I don't think even this can convey the second nature you have instilled in your children .  I can still hear the chant:

Enjoy the age your are 'cause you'll never be that age again

Enjoy the age you are 'cause you'll never be that age again

Enjoy the age you are 'cause you'll never be that age again

and so it goes.  I remember HATING those words.  I appreciate now the simplicty of it.                                                                      (signed:  Beverly          

She will teach it to her daughter and even to her grandchildren.*Smile*

© Copyright 2007 ANN Counselor, Lesbian & Happy (best4writing at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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