Those Kodak moments

Those Kodak moments

My husband was smiling like the proverbial Cheshire cat. “I swung it,” he said proudly. Wondering what the deal was this time, I quirked my eyebrows and waited. “The kids have agreed. We get a full three hour slot with them this evening at the club.”
To all you parents of teens and young professionals, does that sound familiar? Well, welcome to the club. How many of us settle down to a good balance of work and leisure (I hate the ‘work life’ terminology) and after a particularly hectic decade or two of work, peer around to spend life more meaningfully. And that of course includes great chunks of time with offspring.

But surprise, surprise! Children by then have minds of their own. So we, who are caught up in the time warp of the plaintive “Mummy, Daddy, I want to come out with you” cry, are surprised out of our wits the first time we hear “Chill Dad, it’s so uncool. Why would I want to go out with you?”

The ‘Aha’ moment and your magnanimous “Let’s go out together” gesture just fell flat on its face. Which is why when I see young parents discipline their young ones to stay at home, I always tell them to go easy, to enjoy the requests, the pleas and the tears. For soon, you will be the one begging for hours from their busy schedules. When I see professionals slogging at work I always stop by to remind them to step off the treadmill just once in a way and holiday with their offspring — for family holidays like family outings become oh so rare as the years go by.

Recently, a dear friend told me about a detailed holiday plan they had chalked out with their 20 something son and their beautiful teenage daughter only to be soundly told off that the dates just wouldn’t match. ‘Empty Nesters’ have their own tales to tell. And while some actually relish the freedom that they enjoy once the birds have flown the coop, many are haunted by the lost opportunities of missed holidays.

And so just as they say “time and tide wait for no man”, so it is that holidays and outings — en famile, wait for no parent. So yuppies, young parents, workaholics — stop a while, smell the coffee, pick up your brood when little and step out for that filial outing or holiday! Salt away enough memories and Kodak moments to last a whole lifetime. It is time indeed well-spent.

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