Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Days Go Slowly But the Years Fly By

I looked at my calendar this morning and realized that today is the last day of November. When did that happen? I’m sure that part of my confusion is the fact that I spent part of both yesterday and today outside in just a T-shirt (okay, pants too) and I wasn’t even cold. But I’m quite certain that Ryan’s birthday, which is on November 2nd, was just a couple of days ago, and Thanksgiving was only yesterday. I guess it’s true that the days go slowly but the years (and months) fly by.

It’s funny how things change so gradually under your nose that they don’t seem to change at all until you look back. My stepdaughter got home yesterday after being away for 3 weeks and was astonished at how big Katie had gotten since she last saw her. I hadn’t really noticed until I stopped to think about it. Now I can see that she hardly fits in the baby bathtub, she can’t quite stretch her legs all the way out in some of her pajamas, and she takes up a lot more space on the changing table than she used to. How could I not see that?

I’m so grateful for modern technologies like photography that capture those amazing fleeting moments of childhood. For all that I swear I’ll remember each little expression and each little chirp, they are momentarily forgotten in the excitement of the next expression or chirp. But when I look at photos and videos, it all comes flooding back. And being able to watch the kids’ development and evolution through a series of photos is such a gift. It reminds me of how much they’ve already changed and learned and grown in their few short years and few short months on this earth.

Time passes, and there’s nothing I can do about it. But what I can do is soak in and enjoy each moment. What I can do is remember how fleeting this time is. What I can do is keep my priorities straight. Ten years from now, I won’t remember the day I didn’t have clean socks because I hadn’t taken time to throw in a load of laundry, but you can bet I’ll remember the night that Katie and I sat watching Daddy and Ryan set up the train set around the Christmas tree. I won’t remember the week we ate spaghetti three nights in a row because I was too exhausted to go grocery shopping, but I’ll remember that 3am feeding when Katie looked up at me and grinned. I won’t remember scrubbing crayon off the kitchen table, but I will remember sitting with Ryan drawing truck after truck and practicing naming letters and shapes.

I may be nearly too tired to keep my eyes open sometimes, but I’m still not going to blink. I wouldn’t want to miss anything.

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