From Music and the Spoken WordDelivered By: Lloyd D. Newell
At times, every father wonders, “Where did the time go?” Children who just yesterday were so small, so dependent on us, so eager to spend time with us, suddenly become so grown up, so independent, and so anxious to find their own place in the world. The years speed on, and they seem to go faster each day.
So where did the time go? Simply put, we lived it. Perhaps by remembering this we will be more inclined to make the most of the time we still have and live it well. We can cherish the meaningful moments, large and small, that helped to shape our children—and us. We can hold on to the happy memories and even remember the mistakes—but only long enough to learn from them—and then move on. Starting today, we can build strong relationships with our children, moment by moment.
A grown son reflected on the good times he had with his father while growing up. Interestingly, the moments he remembered most clearly were neither expensive nor exotic. They were seemingly small exchanges between father and son: conversations, shared experiences, campouts, projects they completed together. By far his most meaningful memories were a series of simple moments when his father demonstrated love.
In many ways, it seems easier for fathers to move up the professional ladder than to be engaged in the life of the home. And yet the loving presence of an attentive father makes such a big difference. He is more than just a guest in his home; he strives to take advantage of every opportunity, every precious moment, to build bridges to his children—and grandchildren. It’s often not easy, and takes great patience and wisdom, but there can be no greater or more meaningful work than the work we do within the walls of our home.1
Being a successful father is not so much about doing a few extraordinary things as it is about diligently doing many simple things. It’s making the most of fatherhood moments, day by day, year after year, before they slip away.
1 See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee (2000), 134.