You Can Always Repaint The Walls.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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In 14 years, my wife and I will move into a brand new season of life: Empty-Nesters. Wow! That's hard to believe. Literally, 14 years from now (almost to the date), our youngest son, Sam, will be packing his bags and preparing for a move to college (and we will be preparing to sleep through an entire night for the first time in decades...maybe).

It may seem strange that I’m talking about this…in a blog post…now…14 years before it happens. But the reality of this hit me the other day. As my wife and I were celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary, I did some quick math in my head (it had to be quick, because I’m really bad at math!). Fourteen years has gone by since our wedding. Sam is 4, which means that in 14 more years, he will be 18. At 18 he will graduate from high school…. YIKES! It’s true, we’ve only got 14 years left!

We kid ourselves as parents, don’t we? We think, “Ah, you’ve got time,” or, “It’s a long way off anyways.” And then suddenly, we wake up and 14 years has gone by just like that. We even have those who have gone before us (the older and wiser ones who have scaled Mount Parenthood already), speak truth to us like- “Watch out, it goes really fast. Before you know it, they’ll be all grown up and gone!” But in our rushed lives we fail to really listen to them.

We fail to really pay attention to the fact that our children are growing up fast and there will be a day when the screams and thumps from an afternoon of play throughout the house will fall quiet. I tend to get frustrated by loud noises now, but maybe I won’t when that day comes and there’s silence in my house?

People I’m close to are always telling me to not get so upset when my kids do things that frustrate me. “Someday, you’ll miss those things,” they say. But I swear I will never miss pulling into my driveway after a long day, opening my garage, and not being able to pull my car into it’s spot because there are bicycles lying on their side, or toys strewn about on the garage floor. And don’t get me started on nicks and scratches on the walls throughout our house.

Actually, let me get started: this drives me nuts! Literally, I find myself nearly going crazy over all of the chipped paint, scuffed floorboards, and crusted stains down the walls of our beautifully painted hallways. There are times when I actually walk around with a can of paint and “touch-up” the walls. My wife makes fun of me. And, she tells me I need to relax. She’s right!

Here’s why…

A few years back, when my 3rd oldest daughter was still in elementary school, she came home from school one day, ran into the house, and handed me a piece of construction paper with fresh finger paint still dripping from it. “Here daddy, I made this for you,” she said with a big smile. I unfolded the paper to find her hand print in paint and these words:

Sometimes you get discouraged because I am so small. And always leave my fingerprints on furniture and walls. But everyday I’m growing I’ll be grown up someday, and those tiny handprints will surely fade away. So here’s a final handprint just so you can recall, exactly how my fingers looked when I was very small. 

Wow. Take a moment to wipe away tears if you need to. As you can imagine, I was floored when I read this. It was one of those “defining” moments that tend to sneak up on you when you least expect it. Ever had one of those?

I have. Many, to be exact. And they remind me that what I continually need to be aware of is this:

Time is not slowing down.
My children are growing faster than I can blink.
Fourteen years is not long.
Stop freaking out over the little things.
The walls can always be repainted.
But time with my children can’t be reclaimed after it’s gone! 

Have you had the same realizations on your parenting journey, lately? 

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.