Long days, short years

‘The days are long but the years are short.’

‘The days are long but the years are short.’

I lost count of how many people said this to me when I became a parent nearly six years ago, and I don’t think it’s ever felt truer than in 2021. Here we are, poised for another New Year, and yet I vividly remember those endless days of lockdown that began around this time12 months ago, when our lives were so limited, dominated by home learning and waiting for news that things might change.

Then Easter and the warmer months finally came, and amidst sunshine and disappointed football fans (in at least one part of the UK) the days flickered past, punctuated by regular testing and occasional periods of forced isolation. While the official longest day fell sometime in June, for us every day dragged together in that very long week when the class bubble burst just before half term and my poor son was practically climbing the walls spending day after day inside the same house.

Later in the summer, our world got bigger, and most definitely brighter, when our second adopted child joined our family. Dates and times are etched in my mind, illustrated with photos that will be treasured forever from those first few days of getting to know each other. And then for us, another lockdown of sorts, as we committed to becoming a family of four and attempted to begin building those all-important attachments through long and intense days of seeking connection and navigating a new sibling relationship.

Autumn routines that were new for all of us quickly became achingly familiar as we attempted to find our ‘normal’ and give our boys their best chance to thrive. The same pattern, the same park, the same meals, the same scooter route. Again. And again. And again. And it worked for a while (doesn’t everything).

But then came the dark evenings and the winter bugs and all our hard work to establish routine was thrown into disarray by the chaos of Christmas and the anxiety of the unknown (despite regular consultation of the visual timetable).

Yet all those days that felt so long have passed by so very quickly.

‘The days are long but the years are short.’

In the midst of the long days, it is so easy to wish them away, counting down the minutes in the hope that tomorrow will be different. Whatever your today might look like – my story is just one of many -whether or not you’re currently caring children in your home, we each have our own challenges, our own fears, our own ever-growing to-do list that never seems to end.

And yet it is in the days that life happens, not the years. It’s in the minutes and the moments – a glimpse of beauty, a ray of sunshine, a toothy smile, a belly laugh.

As we look ahead to 2022, I know many of us will – very understandably – be glad to see the back of 2021. But just before we leave it behind, I do encourage you to try to remember and treasure some of those moments of life and love and light that meant something.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

The last few weeks of this year have felt very dark at times. Not only has the pandemic taken yet another turn towards the unknown, there have also been far too many harrowing and heart-breaking headlines.

Yet the light still shines in the darkest and longest of days. And we each have a part to play in bringing God’s light into the world, using our long days to create moments that make the short years matter.

If you are caring for children or young people in your home, I hope that your 2022 will be filled with moments of calm and connection, as you seek to pour light and love into their lives.

If you are considering what part you could play in the life of a vulnerable child, I hope that 2022 will open up new possibilities and you will find your path. As always, Home for Good is here to journey with you as you explore – as a starting point, you could use our New Year Prayer Resource to help you reflect on your next steps.

Whatever 2022 might bring, Home for Good will keep pressing on to make a difference for vulnerable children and we are so grateful to you and our huge network of supporters committed to standing with us and playing their part. We know that together we will find a home for every child who needs one.

Happy New Year from all at Home for Good.

Author:
Amy at Home for Good


Date published:
31 December 2021


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