31 Oct It Really DOES Go By Fast

 

I so badly wish that, on the day my little ones were born, a Heaven-sent movie would have played in my mind. It would have warned me how TRULY “speed-of-light” the imps would grow.

On a recent Saturday, while drinking my morning coffee, it “hit me” how, later that day, my precious, onetime toddler—whose pig tails I used to prep at the Ronald McDonald House—would go to her high school’s fall formal.

Bedecked in a glorious gold and white dress, with her shiny hair curled and primped, Abby would depart with a gentlemanly classmate.

I wish I could have foreseen how, back when she was a first grader (joyfully spinning with me at a Daddy, Daughter Dance) she would all-too-quickly wear high heels.  And make up.

I wasn’t aware that great friends…

And delightful activities…

And fun…

Would take her away.

When I was still in my 30’s, and folks cautioned, “It goes by fast,” I should have stopped to let that realization deeply sink into my marrow.

A few days back, I taped then-tiny Jonathan’s picture to my door.

I gazed at the image—noting how his shock of downy, blonde hair lay upon him like a yellow crown.

I paid attention to the way that “Baby Bear’s” full (and eminently squeezable) cheeks pushed his eyes into two, tiny slits of sky-blue mirth.

A short time later, tween Jonathan traipsed past. Gel held his hair in a style reminiscent of Captain America’s “do.”

He flashed a quick smile before silently moving along—the hood of a black and grey sweatshirt bobbing with each step.

Taking stalk of his big sister’s increased maturity and freedom, I made a mental note to spend more time watching superhero movies with my youngest son.

‘Cause I’m aware that buddies…

And hobbies…

And girls…

Will increasingly clamor for his time.

If I could go back to the early 2000’s, I wish that I’d experienced a vision of how foolish my choices were.

I wouldn’t have regularly stayed two hours after school while seeking the praise of men.  In those days I was unaware that months-old Michael would soon lie in a coma.

Recently Strong Boy met Robert Thomas, the vice president of the Elekta Gamma Knife company, whose types of machine helped to save my son.

I watched as Michael, grinning from shoulder to shoulder, downed a huge, grilled-cheese sandwich next to “Bob,” while Elekta’s Ms. Kennedy snapped photos and smiled.

I stood a little taller when MJ talked to an unexpected guest, Congresswoman Jayapal, while each shared about their Labradoodles.

That evening Michael, who gathers football cards (and keeps a Russell Wilson one on him, at all times, desperate for his hero’s signature), asked me to once more sort through his collection with him.

Though I was exhausted after our busy day in Seattle, I committed to focus on Sweet Boy’s cards this coming weekend. Nothing makes him happier.

And I renewed my promise to play catch with him every time he asks.

For soon teen responsibilities…

And music…

And homework…

Will drive a natural wedge between us.

A decade ago I wish that an angel would have placed its hand over my heart and magically given me a taste of the ache (pangs spreading around the edges of my chest)—and beauty—of what was to come.

Late last evening wee Sarah asked me, “Will you ‘lay next by me’ until I fall asleep?”

After we sang and prayed, I turned my old iPad away from her gaze, and started to watch a Netflix series with my ear phones in.

Soon I felt her eyes studying my face. I turned off the show.

We sat there, in the dark, and talked.

At age 46, I finally “get it.”

I know that my knees will only handle another year or two of piggy back rides…

And sitting on the garage floor with Sarah, as we pet her “kitties…”

And letting her swing, “like a monkey!” from my one good shoulder…

So I will do my best,

To make the most,

Of every moment,

With each of them.

“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?”

Psalm 127:3a (MSG)

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

James 1:17 (NIV)