Twelve-Year-Old Trips

When each of my boys have turned twelve, they have gotten to go on a Twelve Year Old Trip.  This trip is a father/son event that is planned out for months.  It usually involves multiple sporting events, hunting, and driving many miles.  They get to help plan, they decide where to eat, what to do, what to wear.  It is all about them.

My fifth child, Joshua, is about to turn twelve years old.  How is that possible?  He was the baby for 10 years until we adopted Sally, and now Charlie.  So, I guess it is really hard for me to believe that the youngest of my “first batch” is twelve.  Weird.  I remember vividly when I was twelve.

Makes me want to slow it all down.

I want more time, which of course is impossible.

As I look back over the past couple of decades, it seems as if I lived it with a fast-forward button on.  And there is no reverse button.

Gretchen Ruben has written, “The days are long but the years are short” and I tend to agree. When I count the days, it doesn’t seem very fast, but then I look up and years have passed and there is no way to get it all back.  Not that we would want back all of it, but if I really understood this whole fast years thing, I think I would enjoy and savor my days, making them longer and slower.

I would have more moments where I glance out the window and see the blooms and the green grass and remember to tell the Lord thank you.

I would sit outside in my yard more.

I would play cards more with the kids.  A good game of Crazy Eight is really time well spent.

I would read. For pleasure.  And I would read all kinds of books—Bible Study books and novels and biographies and classics.

I would cook more.  Because I wanted to try out a new recipe, not because I needed to throw something on the table to avert my guilty conscience when we have eaten out or eaten sandwiches too many nights in a row.

I would go to lunch with a friend.  I would watch a kid’s movie with my kids, not just get it going for them.

In case you are wondering, I just listed my goals for the summer.

So join me in slowing down and savoring the days a bit more.

And I would love hear your ideas.  Please share your own tips!

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