As usual the latest episode of This is Us has me all in my feelings. This comes on the heels of my oldest daughter Riley turning eight. I look at her and realize how quickly time is flying. I spent almost an hour looking back through old photos as I prepared her birthday video (a tradition in the Wakefield household…everyone has a birth video we watch and they get a new birthday video each year). It’s funny, as I look back I can see now what I didn’t know then. Those were all great moments that I documented…but was I truly a participant or simply an innocent bystander?
This brings me to my current feelings about the recent episode of This is Us, the season finale where the daughter gets married. Spoiler alert, the end of the episode provides glimpses into the future, a future that I’m not sure I’m ready for as a viewer. After watching, my wife says something profound (as she tends to do). This is why we don’t know too much about the future. The more we know, the less present we are in this moment. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to figure out the future, for myself and my family and now I’m starting to wonder if I should even be trying so hard… Instead what can I learn from the wise saying, the past is history. The future is a mystery. The present is a gift.
Children though have something figured out that we adults seem to lose over time. Perhaps it’s the cares of the world, responsibilities, or the lost of sheer wonder, that causes us to lose sight of this universal truth. Children know how to embrace the gifts of the present much better than we do. That’s what I watched my daughter do this weekend. She enjoyed her presents, immediately building the lego set, then building the ferris wheel, then finding a quiet place to begin reading A Wrinkle in Time. I bet she wasn’t thinking about what was going to happen next year or even next week. She simply enjoyed the sheer pleasure of living in the moments this weekend. I didn’t capture much of that footage. Fortunately, I was too busy living in those moments with her.
PS- the photo above was taken from a photo shoot we did this past fall where our photographer caught the girls and I in a moment of playful banter. I need more of these moments in my life 🙂