There are several remote controls in our house. We even have the kind that is supposed to be “universal,” so essentially we would only need one. That isn’t the case. They all seem to only have one function no matter how we program them.

In my family, I never seem to be the one in control of the remote that can fast forward, rewind or pause the TV. I’m the queen of the remote that solely controls volume. Since life with a family of seven can get really loud at times, it’s the one I usually prefer. Now that’s changing. I want the one that has the pause function but I want to pause more than a television show. I want to pause life.

I want to freeze time right where it is and even press the rewind button a bit. With the school year about to begin again, I know it will only fly by. It will feel like life is in fast forward mode. I prefer to stretch out summer time so I can have the kids at home a while longer.

My oldest daughter is already halfway done with college. I feel like we rarely get to see her any more. I have a son who will be a senior this year and another daughter who will be a junior in high school. Thankfully I still have two children in elementary school because I know if I even blink it will be time for graduation.

I remember when the oldest three children started school. Some days, as a stay-at-home mom, it seemed like that day would never come. It was on the days I felt completely overwhelmed with toddler tantrums in the middle of the grocery store aisle, children refusing to eat their vegetables or anything relatively healthy, and the days when potty training felt hopeless. It was back when naptime was more for me, the exhausted mom, than for them.

Now they are on the other end of the spectrum with school and I cannot seem to slow time down. Before I know it, I will be ordering graduation invitations and my son’s cap and gown. We will be shopping for dorm room essentials that he will care less about but I’ll insist he’ll need. Then his sister, who is just a year younger, will be walking across that same graduation stage in no time.

I want the days back filled with light saber fights, dinosaurs and Legos. I want the days back when my two older daughters wobbled in my high heels and played dress up instead of borrowing my shoes because they fit.

Where did that boom box with the CD and cassette player go? The one my son used every night at bedtime to play the Toy Story theme song, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” over and over again. Now their music is downloaded onto phones and everyone has headsets.

I may not be able to press pause or rewind but I can choose to live more in the present moment and take it all in while it lasts. I still may need the volume control occasionally but I’ll take the clamor over quiet any day.

Lisa Baniewicz is an Atchison resident and mom with five children ranging in age from 8-20 years old.

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