Give me a warning sign!

When you come up to a curve in the road, there’s usually a sign as you approach that warns you to slow down and prepare for the change in direction. When you go to the movie theater in the U.S., the Motion Picture Association of America assigns one of five ratings to each movie, such as PG, meaning parental guidance suggested, or R, for restricted, to help give you a sense of the film’s content and whether its appropriate for children and teenagers.

As time has gone on, I’ve become convinced the same thing should exist for parents on other aspects of life. Oh, most parents need a Parenting Set of Instructions ― God knows, I did, my kids are grown and I still need one ― but I’m not even touching on that today. Instead, I’m talking about the moments that pass us in the craziness of our day-to-day life.

For example, when you’re a parent, nobody tells you that a big part of the job is overcoming touching final moments. There should be a warning, a blinking light, a sign, something letting you know that you’re coming up on one of those moments: a final snuggle, the last time you’re “allowed” to walk your child into school, a final chance to rock them to sleep in a rocking chair.

These Last Moments, as I call them, instead, pass without much fanfare. They fritter and float and fly erratically away like a butterfly, but remain forever in your memory.

My kids are grown now, err, well almost grown. Our youngest is finishing up his first year of college. When I look back on all three of my children, though, these are the moments that flash in my mind. These are the moments I would give my right arm to relive.

I write about one of these moments in my post, Dad’s Uber: On Duty, on The Heart of The Matter. My son asked for a ride back to college. I could’ve easily asked him to get a ride with a friend, but fortunately I noticed the flashing sign in my peripheral vision and drove him back myself. In the end, I was grateful for the chance to spend a few extra hours with him.

Yes, yes, I could use few more warning signs!

Check out my story and let me know what you think.

Image by Katie Burandt via Pexels.

25 thoughts on “Give me a warning sign!

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  1. Very true! Sometimes they even damage something and you scold, never dreaming this item will become a precious souvenir, that every time you see it, you’re reminded of the dear child you once had the opportunity to love and care for — I’ve a fork with a twisted tine in my drawer that I cherish now. 😉 How I wish I hadn’t reacted so harshly at that moment!

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  2. Indeed, some final moments are more confidently known to be final than others. I agree it would be nice to see a yellow caution light indicating you might be entering a final moment in all aspects of life, just in case you want to treat it differently. Unfortunately, there are no traffic signals for traveling through life.🚦

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We need to change that some how Bruce. I need a traffic signal letting me know not to mess it up, to soak in the moment. Ha, ha. If only life worked that way. It might prevent me from missing out on the special moments. It would certainly keep me out of the doghouse!!! If you find a way to invent that traffic light, I guarantee you’ll become a millionaire!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I whole-heartedly agree Brian. I strongly dislike the feelings and emotions when you realize after the fact that you just had a “last moment” with one of your kids. I say parents should be able to ask for a do-over so those moments can be documented forever 😉

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    1. Where do I sign up for one of those do-overs!!!! And how many do you get? I think I may need more than a few. Ha, ha. My two oldest kids are grown adults now, but one of my strongest memories is dropping them off at school. I didn’t have the chance to drop them off much because of my job, but for whatever reason I did on this day. I remember walking them into the school and my daughter telling me that she had it from there. She would take her brother. I could leave now. Ha, ha. I’ll never forget that moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for a reminder of the final moments. One my husband remembers was when my son was five or six and he’d hold my husband’s hand on walks. One day, our son spotted a friend and immediately dropped dad’s hand.

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  5. Great story Brian! All those ‘lasts’ that go along with child rearing. Ugh, some of them were hard. Our youngest of three kids senior year of high school was a tough one for me realizing I’d never be experiencing those moments again. You adjust and get accustomed to the new norm but, looking back to some of those days can still produce some pretty good sized lumps in your throat…

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  6. This is so touching Brian – and yes, May we be blessed with these warning signs so we can be present and embrace these last moments when we can. I’m glad you had that car ride with your son!

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  7. You know, I often thought that having “ambient music” would be useful irl. You know the type of music you get in movies/tv shows, where you know what’s about to happen based on the music would hear? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have the play irl as one of those “warning signs”? 🙂

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    1. Ha, ha, I love that, especially since I have that music playing in the back of my head. When my kids were little and the house was a little crazy, I swear Halloween Horror Music would be playing in the back of my head when I walked in the door. Thank goodness I don’t have that music playing anymore. I love your idea though EW. We need that!


  8. You know how drivers signal to each other to warn other drivers that there lights aren’t on or that there’s a hazard ahead? I feel like you just did this for me and it might not make my trip less emotional but hopefully make me more present for it. Thank you, dear Brian!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that image Wynne, such a cool image for me. Thank you so much. Oh, you’re a great mother. Yea, yea, I know that just through your blog, but you’ve got your heart in the right place, that’s half the battle. Here’s a future blog idea for you. I think you’ve written about this in the past, but I would be interested in knowing how having children later has changed your parenting style. If I’m being too nosey, please ignore. I just think it’s fascinating. With my first two kids, I was in my 30s, still trying to make my way up the corporate ladder. I gave up certain things to help bring more financial stability to our family. I don’t know that I have regrets, but I didn’t pick up on those “last moments” as quickly as I should have. If my hazard lights help someone else, then I’m all for that!!!!!! That makes it all worthwhile!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love that idea, Brian!! I’ve got a lot to say on that subject so I’ll have to start making my list. It reminds me of playing tennis with my dad when he was old – he couldn’t move around as fast but wow did he know how to wait for the right moment and play the angles. Maybe that’s my opening image… 🙂

        Thanks for the suggestion, Brian! Yep, I really appreciate you turning on the hazards for me! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, some kind of warning sign would be nice, right!!!! When the nurse checks you out with your baby from the hospital, they would check your car seat and give you a little flashing box, sort of like a phone. When your coming up on a last moment, the box would start to flash!!!! Ha, ha!

      Liked by 1 person

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