Making the best of the time given

I am a little late with my e-pistle today as I volunteered to help out in the park of Atenas with the celebration of the 143rd birthday of our county.  There will be activities well in to the evening and if you are around, why not stop by and enjoy the fun?  For the rest of you who don’t live here, I hope by the time you receive this, you will have already been out and about and are now enjoying a good afternoon’s relaxation.

We have enjoyed a busy couple of months, receiving visits from friends and family from around the world. I am always delighted when people make our home one of their stops.  I welcome the opportunity to deepen friendships and show off our country.  The informality that sneaks into our schedules, as we make allowances for the time differences and habits of our guests, is a refreshing and pleasant change from the rigid agenda we follow most of the year.
The last few days have found us guest free but incredibly involved with the different responsibilities we each have to fulfill to get ready for the new school year which begins in just a few weeks.  Thursday was the first opening we had to spend together, just the four of us. We decided to visit the mall and then catch a movie (one of my favorite recreational activities).  Captain America was the action-packed film we patiently stood in line for (a long story) and it required the audience’s commitment for maximum satisfaction.
We had chosen our seats carefully because we take movie-going seriously!  I admit I have a rude awakening each time we go to the movies and witness behavior in teenagers and young adults that is only forgivable (and not always present) in preschoolers.  The four of us communicated without speaking, each feeling disappointed and shocked that our fellow viewers had no respect for those of us who observe proper movie etiquette.  At one point, a spit ball fell into my popcorn and I was tempted to ask for the lights to be turned on so I could properly confront my attacker.  Instead I took a deep breath and noticed gratefully that my offender’s companion took him to task and he stopped.
When the movie ended, we stayed behind for the credits as we usually do,  and what had been a boisterous scene just minutes before, suddenly held only the four of us.  We compared notes and agreed that movie-going is unpredictable these days but we are always willing to take the challenge since some films absolutely require first viewing on the big screen.  I wondered aloud how the parents of the kids in the movies would have felt if they had witnessed their children‘s behavior.  Our daughter’s simple answer (“They probably do the same thing.”) reminded me of how important it is to model good behavior for our kids when they are young.
Our daughter turned 16 yesterday.  She is the youngest of our three children and with this significant birthday, I feel that most of her ‘basic training’ has concluded.   As I watched her go from bold to bashful in just a few minutes, while fielding the good-natured repartee at her expense during her celebration, my heart wrenched with blend of nostalgia for the child she was and confidence for the woman she is becoming.   I look forward to her many adventures and trust that our relationship will continue to blossom as the years go by.  We cannot hold on to our children forever but making the most of the time we are given is a choice I am happy to make each day.  I think it’s a good choice;  how about you?
Have a wonderful day and a great week.

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