The Bates Family


by Kelly on June 22, 2011


I ran across a poem that touched me because it shows how fast our children g35380224row up. The sad part is, we are often so preoccupied with the business of life that we forget to slow down and enjoy these special moments.

May God help us LOVE our children by giving the greatest gift we can give them: TIME… Time to hug, time to play, time to read them the Bible, time to teach, time to listen, time to talk, and time to be involved!

May God help us as parents – both moms and dads – not to write those regretful words: “I wish I had…”


My hands were busy through the day

I didn’t have much time to play

The little games you asked me to.

I didn’t have much time for you.

I’d wash your clothes; I’d sew and cook,

But when you’d bring your picture book

And asked me please to share your fun,

I’d say “A little later, son.”

I’d tuck you in all safe at night

And hear your prayers, turn out the light,

Then tiptoe softly to the door…

I wish I’d stayed a minute more.

For life is short, the years rush past…

A little boy grows up so fast.

No longer is he at your side,

His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away;

There are no longer games to play.

No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear,

That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands, once busy, now are still.

The days are long and hard to fill.

I wish I could go back and do

The little things you asked me to! 

(Poem from Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul : “To My Grown Up Son” author unknown, submitted by Eleanor Newbern)

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam June 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm

As a Mom of a 21 and 16 year old; those words a so true and beautiful. Time does go by very fast (although some days when our children are small, an hour seems l o n g !) I hope everyone who has small children listens to these words very carefully as they read them!


brittani June 23, 2011 at 12:22 am

that is a good poem


Christine June 23, 2011 at 12:59 am

Thank you…that touched my heart. Those words spoke to me in so many ways. Again thank you:)


Tina June 23, 2011 at 1:42 am

This so true we all need to slow down and really enjoy are children. You and your husband are such a blessing to all. May GOD keep his hand with you all.


Kay Walter June 23, 2011 at 2:00 am

That poem is so very true. Probably everyone is familiar with:
Cooking and cleaning can wait for tomorrow
For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow.
So fly away cobwebs and dust go to sleep
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.


Gil June 23, 2011 at 3:40 am

Dear Kay,
I hadn’t heard that poem, but love it! You may soon find it on my wall somewhere as a reminder! Love, Kelly


Brenda June 23, 2011 at 2:29 am

What a beautiful& moving poem. There is a beautiful song from the 1970′s called “The Cat’s In the Cradle written & sung by the late Harry Chapin. The theme is much the same. It is the lament of a Father who was always telling his son , Later. When the Father finally realizes he wants to spend time with his now adult son, his son doesn’t have time. And his father realizes he “turned out just like me…”
Time goes much too fast. We all need to slow down & spend more time
with our children. They need our tlme more than stuff. They are after all our greatest treasue & unrepeatable gifts of God!
Hope Gil had a wonerful Father’s Day!
God Bless,


Debbie June 23, 2011 at 3:16 am

Thank you so much for the gentle reminder to enjoy the precious little ones and the sweet moments.


Casey June 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Thanks for the reminder, Kelly!

And I may have to put Kay’s poem on my blog sidebar to help me remember the truth of this post.

Did Michael make those dresses? They are adorable!


Gil June 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Dear Casey,
Thanks! Yes, Michaella made them… She was excited to have a summer break from college to sew again! Love & miss you all! Love, Kelly


Emma Culverhouse (England) June 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm

My daughter is only 6 but those years have flown by & every day I notice her needing me less :( We have plans tonite to snuggle in bed & spend some quality time together, which I will enjoy all the more after your timely reminder. Thanks again for your wise words, you really should write a book Kelly!!! I know I wouldn’t be the only one to buy it :)


Ana June 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Kely Querida: My previous email was not translated from Spanish into English, so I write another for if you can not translate the above. The day of the father or the mother or child etc. Are mundane costumbes which the Lord has made us free, any day of the year is good for a gift or to celebrate, it is important to join all year long, being together through thick and thin, sometimes we have difficulties in our daily lives and concerns do not leave us much time to spend with our children, what matters is the quality of time rather than give the number of hours. What rescue your comment is that our children can count on us at any time, even a few minutes a day, we are there to help with any words or actions. God our heavenly father is there as always, more than us, turned his ear to our requests, prayers, gratitude or whatever we told him of, never leaves us, He is faithful. Our custom is to meet together on birthdays than my own, my husband or my children or grandchildren, for our wedding anniversary was on June 9 and we were 2 tables put many, what a blessing it is to be together in peace and harmony. Dear sister in Christ desire the richest blessings to you all and I hope you can answer my email soon and may God give them wisdom to make certain ways of the world, religion is not what I say Kelly, daughter of Christian I am most high God, purchased with the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, my sins forgiven by His grace and merit to receive eternal life, all this just to only believe in our Lord who died and rose from the dead love. With Love Ana


Nancy June 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm

That is a beautiful poem. Parents need to take this poem to heart and enjoy the moments with their children now as when their parents are seniors and need them their children will still be their for them.


Kaelah June 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I know this is a little off topic, but I had a quick request:

My family and I have always enjoyed seeing your family (through a few of the Duggar videos and your website) and deeply appreciate the conservative Christian and family values you stand for. Our family gets a of inspiration from your family’s willingness to serve, and your obvious closeness. We have a “mini” family of seven, and we also home school, so it’s very heartwarming to see a family much larger than ours manage so well.

I’ve especially enjoyed hearing Erin play piano. I’ve played for a few years now, and it’s always motivating and enjoyable to see someone who can play much better than I can! I especially liked the piece she played on one of the Duggar episodes “Erin Bates in Concert” ( Is there any possible way you could give me the title and composer of those pieces as well as the title of the piece Zach played on ABC News? ( Recently I have been looking for piano music that will meet my junior piano guild requirements, and have found very few pieces that are even remotely pretty to listen to. As you know, modern music is often quite unpleasantly abstract and non-musical. If it were somehow possible to find a nice piece that meets the guild requirements before my piano teacher finds some “impressive” discordant nightmare what a blessing that would be! I believe the purpose of music should be for the benefit and joy of others. Erin’s playing accomplishes just that. Thank you for your example and being willing to share your life to inspire other toward good.

Kaelah Glott


Gil June 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Dear Kaelah,
Thank you! Erin & Zach were both just playing their own arrangements, which wouldn’t work for guild. Erin suggested using a piece from Dino or Soundforth music. Erin also enjoys piano arrangement by Shelli Hamilton & Faye Lopez. Hope it goes well and is a good testimony for all! Love, Kelly


T. Gates June 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm

That poem brought tears to my eyes!!! I beat myself up every night because I don’t feel like I’ve spent enough “real” time with my precious children!!! What gifts from God they REALLY are!


Marnie June 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I am a pediatrician and a mother of two, a four year old and 17 month old. I tell all my first time parents that love to a child is spelled T-I-M-E. The days with little ones can be long, but the years all too short! Thanks for sharing the wonderful poem and God bless all those little ones!


Lynsey June 24, 2011 at 12:38 am

very beautiful pictures and poem! thank you for sharing! :)


lynn June 24, 2011 at 3:48 am

Dear Mr and Mrs Bates,
I figured this would be the best way to get in contact with u I tried the other thing on contacting you and never got thru. please pray for my family, there is so much going on I cant mention it on here because people would just talk. But God know the problem. I just came back home to be with my huband who I love dearly. It is going great! There is other reasons tho why I need or am asking you to pray for me. Pleas put me on your prayer chain at church. Thank you!


Gil June 24, 2011 at 5:42 am

Dear Lyn,
I’m saying a prayer for you right now and am asking for wisdom & grace for whatever trials you are facing. Love, Kelly


Petit Bateau June 24, 2011 at 8:56 am

That’s really nice poem. And it’s so true!
Thank you.


Kay Walter June 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Casey, Naturally I just had to check out your blog. The photos are great! Kay


Jenna June 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Thank you for posting that poem…I was literally thinking of it while playing and spending time with my daughter last night…my home and chores can wait, but time with my daughter cant! Thank you for your constant encouragement!


amber landers June 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Thank you so much for this reminder of the little time we get to have then as little kids! We are looking forward to see you all in Michigan when you are here in July! Hope your summer is going great and the family is all well.
Love and God Bless,


Dave and Kristy Edmisten June 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm

That brought tears to my eyes! I’m currently 31 weeks preg. with our 5th sweet blessings and know all too well how fast the time passes as parent. My eldest recently turned 9 and yet I remember her birth and baby years as if it were yesterday.

Being a parent is truly a gift and blessing from God…NOT something to be pushed aside as we work our way through the busy waters of life. Each day is a gift from Him that we can’t take back, only embrace.

Thank you so much for sharing this poem! My husband and I launched into our ministry ( after feeling led by God to do so and we’ve experienced both the ups and downs – but He has carried us through them all. This poem reminds how important it is to remember the many words from Jesus about trusting in the Father – and embrace each day and moment with our children as much as we can.


brittani June 25, 2011 at 12:54 am

mrs.bates i cant belive how fast your kids grow up the last time i seen you guys a on the show with the duggars 17 kids and counting or 18 kids and counting at least you have pictures that will last a life time


Christi Cason June 28, 2011 at 5:38 am

Thank you so much! So true, so beautiful, I am 7+ weeks with our 17th child,and that was wonderful to read!
Christi God willing Mommy to 17 soon


Kate June 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Thank you so much for the poem – a wonderful and timely reminder (I am presently very bogged down with housework!). I am looking forward to putting away the broom and having fun with my children after naptime! Much love to you all


lynn June 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hi kelly, thought I would let you know how things are going here. Beings I asked you to pray for me. Little changes are coming bit by bit, all is for what the Lord wants. I just have to sit back and listen to what He tells me to do and then obey. Do you have a seperat email that I can email u to so we could talk better or write better that is.
Please keep praying and pray for my 5 wonderful girls and the man that I love dearly. We were married in 2000 and I sure do love him! Pray for me that I will be the mom and wife I need to be.
I dont mean to bug you so I will stop writeing for now. thank you!


Kaelah July 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Thank you so much for the music suggestions- I truly appreciate it!


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