When you have a baby, people often stop you in elevators and say, “It goes so fast,” meaning your children’s childhood. At the time, if you’re like me, you think (but don’t say outloud), “Huh. Yesterday, with its night-wakings, and breast feeding, and hours of crying, seemed like four days instead of one. So, I’d have to say, ‘Nope, it doesn’t seem to be going so fast.'”
But then there are times that you get glimpses of what they are talking about. Your baby is suddenly a toddler, and you look at newborns and think, “How did that happen? You were just that small.”
Well, lately, I’m starting to understand what all those parents were talking about. Because I feel that I have blinked, and my kids are big.
I sent my son to kindergarten for the first time yesterday. It was a joyful and lovely, and I was surprised by the tears that erupted unexpectedly from my eyes as he climbed on the big yellow school bus for the first time.
But I also realize where those tears are coming from. They are brought on by the fact that I feel that I just sent my daughter to kindergarten yesterday, when in fact, it was four years ago. Those four years have passed in an absolute blur and feel like they’ve been mere minutes.
I am currently trying to slow time down and appreciate each moment because I know kindergarten will soon give way to fifth (and seventh and twelfth) grade, and I’ll wonder where the time went.
When my son got back off the bus yesterday and I asked him how his day was, he responded quickly, “It was great!!” It made me so happy that he had enjoyed the day and was excited about where he finds himself right now.
I am trying to do the same, for myself. And I am also trying to avoid telling people in elevators how fast it all goes. Because I know they won’t believe me. But it doesn’t make it any less true.
Here’s to a happy and productive school year for everyone this year! And to time slowing down.