My son wrote this to me: A couple of days ago I was doing something with Jonas (7) and Teancum (3), and then had to go check on Asher (4 months). Teancum was asking a question as I walked away, so I said "Just a sec, Teancum." As I continued up the stairs I could hear Jonas explain to Teancum, "Just so you know, 'a sec' means a really long time."
Our kids catch on really fast. I thought about other things parents—and adults-- say and what the real meanings are. Here are a few I thought of:
That’s a great picture. Tell me about it=I don’t have a clue what you drew!
Just a minute=much longer than a second, so probably it means the next day.
Get your shoes on, we’re ready to go=I’m not quite ready yet but I’ll still beat you.
It won’t hurt=well, it will hurt, but not for very long.
Be good=mind your manners, don’t get in a fight, be obedient
Get ready for bed=it’s about to start--who is going to win the battle of the wills tonight?
“Just a second”… what can happen in a second? A hug, spilled milk, a sibling hit, a toy shared, a quick prayer for patience, a smile, toys dumped out, a wink, your child’s hair cut with scissors, a touch, a kiss-- the list is endless. As parents you’ve been told countless times “appreciate your children—they grow up so fast”.
Well, Jonas, it only takes a second and your childhood is gone. And no, this time it doesn’t mean a really long time. It’s a blink. Parents, take advantage of all those seconds in your child’s life and make them count.