If you were immortal, how would you view the coming year? It probably wouldn’t mean much. You would have an infinite supply of years that would follow. While many of us feel that we have many years ahead, reality is that the clock is running. Life is sweet because it is finite.
Okay, you’re probably thinking that’s a little dark. It’s like those movies where the villain runs an hourglass and something bad happens when the sands of time expire.
Legacy Countdown is simply a vivid illustration, set in the language of our mobile gadget society. Orange’s Reggie Joiner previously used marbles to make the same point. He encouraged parents to figure out how many weeks you had until your kids graduated, then put that number of marbles in a jar (one marble for each week). He then asked you to remove one marble each week as a reminder of how precious time is. Legacy Countdown is the same thing on your smart phone.
The Legacy Countdown experience starts by asking for your child’s name and graduation date. It then calculates how many days you have left until he/she leaves home.
As soon as you press “submit” the next screen appears. There it is. The undeniable truth. The number of days your child will be under your roof. These are the waning days of your maximum influence as a parent.
When my kids were in diapers this app might have been encouraging. You mean there’s a definite end to this endless cycle of mess and sleeplessness? But my kids are busy independent teens. Between academic commitments, sports, church and social events it already feels like they’re gone (regardless of what Legacy Countdown may indicate!).
Before kids I used to spend huge chunks of time playing golf. After we were expecting our first child, people would say to us, “Enjoy your kids while they are young. They grow up fast.” It sounded like a platitude to me, but I took it seriously anyway. I gave up golf because I thought it would take me away from my kids for too long. I was right. I didn’t know it at the time, but I have come to view that decision as one of the best of my life. Indeed, children grow up MUCH faster than I could have imagined. Those hours away from the golf course and with my children are when our family memories were made. It’s when I instructed. It’s when we bonded. It’s when I was a parent.
“When you count the weeks you have left with a kid, you stand a better chance of making your weeks count.” This is the premise of Legacy Countdown. One parent to another, it’s my hope that you will use the finite number of weeks you have left to revel in your children.