Ten years have passed. I went to have coffee with my younger self. In preparation, I gathered my thoughts to summarize what I’d face.
My kids were 13, 11, and 8. My wife and I had celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. Amazing how much a family can go through in ten years.
A few job changes for Mom and Dad occurred. No breaks in employment. Thank God for continued grace in this area.
#1 son played soccer a lot. Joined a mid-level team, then a travel team. Dad drove, a lot. Started as a team parent, then a team manager, joined the soccer club board, served as treasurer, and drove, a lot. He made it through high school. Graduated. Got a car. Got a speeding ticket. Got a job. Got on with his life.
Daughter went through physical changes and her health status changed. She went 14 years without a significant respiratory event. After that, we experienced nine hospitalizations followed by extended intravenous antibiotic therapies at home. Visiting home nurse care. Visiting home-bound teachers to support school progress. Conflicts with doctors. Conflicts with insurance. Conflicts with parents. Stress anyone? She graduated high school early. Scored high marks too. We’re thankful for all the miracles in her life.
Youngest made it through grade school, middle school, and high school without too much drama. He kept his head down and stayed in the background. We’re grateful for all his help over the years. He willingly cares for his sister and quietly supports family activities.
Pets, pets, and more pets. Daughter loves the furry critters. We’re not dog or cat people. Wife likes pets contained. Fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, more rabbits, more rabbits, (Stop the rabbits!), and now chinchillas. Started with normal pet store varieties, then moved into competitive critters. Discovered rabbit shows and drove. Discovered chinchilla shows and drove a lot more.
Advice for my younger self, keep your vehicles maintained. You’re going to do a lot of driving. Buy cars that get good gas mileage.
Coffee? Switch to decaffeinated. Don’t grow dependent upon the stimulant qualities.
Get more sleep.
Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.