You have this tiny baby in your arms, or maybe he’s bigger and starting to walk. Still little, though, still not in school. And people stop you sometimes and they say for you to enjoy this time, because it goes by so fast. And you know that, so you look at your baby and back to that person and you nod and you say that you know it does; that you know they’ll be big in the blink of an eye. And you do know. You do understand that.
But you don’t really honestly know it until you find yourself wanting to stop parents with tiny little children, maybe put your hand on their shoulder so they will really hear you, and tell them to enjoy this time because before you know it, they’ll be big. And the parent will kiss their baby on the head and say, Oh, I know. I know it goes by so fast. And then you’ll smile at them and you’ll think, You have no idea.
My kids haven’t grown up and left me yet, and it’s not that I don’t want them to. It’s just that sometimes when my oldest one calls me after school and I answer my phone and hear his deep voice asking me if he can go someplace with his friends, it surprises me. And I miss things like taking him to the hardware store where he’d talk to anyone who would listen. I miss him dragging a chair into the kitchen to stand with me while I made supper. I miss him being little and reaching up for me to pick him up. It’s weird to look up at him. It’s weird that his jeans are bigger than mine and that he’s way smarter at math. It’s amazing, watching him grow up, but damn wasn’t he just two years old and goofy and sweet?