My dad arrived a few days ago, a whirlwind of energy and smiles after escaping the hot winds of Kansas by car. He brought a laundry basket full of stuff I set aside from the old house. A vase I received for Christmas several years ago. High school yearbooks. Old photo albums. Some recipe cards. Several packets of gum (inexplicably).
Another laundry basket full of vitamins and creature comforts from home. A few photos of my niece, Lola.
I asked how my brother and sister-in-law are doing with a 7-month-old. Dad mentioned that my brother was plagued with the question of time. "When does it slow down?" he had asked Dad.
Indeed. When does it slow down?
Does it ever slow down?
I think the slow days are gone. Becoming a parent means trading free time (what little there already is) for rocking time, for block-building time, for helping-with-homework time, for play time, for worry time, for "Mommy, look-it" time.
Those precious few hours after bedtime are spent reflecting on the sheer swiftness of it all. Watching videos from those newborn days and thinking, "Wow, time goes fast."
Days at work, days in a hurry, nights asleep, nights in a worry.
Always looking ahead to the next thing. Is it too early to be thinking about preschool? How will we deal with Alexa as a teenager? OMG, she's already acting like a teenager.
I imagine even after Alexa is grown and living on her own the days will be fast. They will blur together. There will be phone calls (or mind melds or whatever the communication is in the future) to "check in" and "has it been a week already?"
So let's pause.
Take in the sweet scent of your baby's head. Ingrain the memory of your toddler's arms embracing you in a hug. Save your child's artwork. Memorize your own beautiful face. Yes, you. You're beautiful! Laugh and connect with your parents, even if you're just checking in after a
Ferris Bueller says it best.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."