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WHAT I WANT MY CHILDREN TO KNOW

WHAT I WANT MY CHILDREN TO KNOW

I sometimes drift back to my earlier years and wonder at how quickly we age. I tend to make comparisons with where my children are now and where I was at their age.

T and K are now older than I was when Andrew was born. Amie, later this month, will be the age I was when Andrew was born. I’m not sure how old Jessie is. Ha! 31 or 32? Oops! Scratch that 32. I had to check her FB page to be sure.  Andrew will be 23 in a few days, the age I was when I thought my life was in order and I knew everything there was to know. You do the math while I let you in on a little secret. I was wrong about knowing it all.

My parents always seemed old to me when I was young even though they weren’t. When I grew older and returned home for a visit after a long period of time – they seemed much older and more frail than they did the last time I had seen them.

I wonder…Do my children see me in the same light?  Do I look, behave, and seem older to them when we have only had phone, FB, and text conversations between us for a few months? Hopefully, I don’t seem frail. Frail is such an old person word isn’t it? They will all tell you I am forgetful. I blame that on all those kids. I can’t always remember who I told what.


It’s a jolt when you realize how fast the time has gone. There are a lot of should have’s. I should have exercised more, eaten healthier, read more, written more, played more, and followed more dreams. I should have managed my money better and saved more for retirement. I should have made more time for family and friends. Hindsight comes too late for those who wait.


I should talk to my children and warn them about these inevitable twists and turns in life – but would they listen? I think not. I know I never listened hard enough. I always thought there would be time.

Note to my children… 

Getting older sneaks up on you like a cat on a mouse. Take advantage of your youth, while always planning for your future. You have to keep one eye open all the time. Get your eggs in one basket and take life by the horns. Don’t let life take you by surprise – unless it’s a good surprise!  Mom

~Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

22 responses »

  1. I don’t remember who said, “Youth is wasted on the young,” but they were right.

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  2. Awesome post Elle. I was dusting my room today and thinking about how old my books are. Some I’ve had since college and that was 15+ years ago. Some are from my childhood and they aren’t holding up that well. I often think about how my parents were back when I was in college vs. now. They are still healthy and energetic but I can see the time that’s passed.

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  3. Sure and we will be older tomorrow, than we were today … not too surprising.

    I accept that. I see my son at forty, with a three-year old. When I was that age, he was in Junior High. I think he is now beginning to to understand all the stuff from his own childhood. Beginning to see it in the light of today and what we tried to educate him with?

    He now treats me as frail, which is fine with me. Even though I’m more robust than i look. When you’re in your mid-sixties, much is different. My barber charges me the “senior’s” rate. Even though I still have most of that pate.

    I embrace it. I have validity and a reason to be outspoken. Everyone just stands and stares anyway. Good luck to you, it’s mostly a state of mind and set that mind, to the notion that you have most of your life to go. Not that it’s over. Because once you start in that vein? It is.

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  4. As I age I find it difficult to not look back on my life and wonder what could have been. I see many mistakes in my past that would have made a huge difference on where/what I am today. Realizing that I cannot change the past, I focus back on the present and acknowledge that today is the beginning of the rest of my life. This motivates me to start each day with a fresh approach. Meanwhile, I’ve learned to let my kids live their own lives and learn from their mistakes. They know I am available to talk about anything – when they initiate the conversation.

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  5. Frail…you? HELLO!!!!! OMIGOD. You’re the most active person I don’t know, as it were. Seems like I’ve known you forever…welcome to blog life. I do agree we know zip when we’re young but think of ourselves as life’s experts. Who said youth was wasted on the young? Great essay.

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  6. It’s not too late for us to take your advice right now, Elle – there are people 20 years older than us that would want us to receive that same message – while (from THEIR perspective) we’re still so young and all!!

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  7. I’m 31! Haha!

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  8. Good advice. That surprise thing is really hard to pull off though.

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