Creative Child

This is Parenthood

by Rebecca Eanes

They tell you that time flies and to enjoy it all you can, and yet in the midst of sleep deprivation, 3 a.m. feedings, and endless diapers, it feels like it will last forever. You wonder how time can possibly fly when one night drags on so very long.

Then, one morning you wake up to a running toddler who jumps in your bed and you wonder when she got so big. You chase her around all day until you’re utterly exhausted, longing for the rest that night should bring, but it still doesn’t come. Unless you’ve hit a jackpot, toddlers still often interrupt your sleep. Still though, when she throws those little arms around your neck, you wouldn’t trade it for all the rest in the world. You have a sense now that what they say is true. The days are long, but the years are short.

You blink, and he’s off to kindergarten. It hits you with a sickening thud that the baby days are forever gone and time seems to speed up now. You try to keep up. You do your best to soak it in, but you can’t get a good grasp for long enough. He’s growing too quickly now, constantly changing, slipping right through your fingers. You can’t remember the last time you carried him, when he last rode on your back as you played horsey in the living room, or the last time he climbed in your bed in the middle of the night, but you wish you remembered. You wish you had a picture of each of those moments to carry with you always.

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Summers come and go. You know they are numbered, so you pack in as many memories as you can while the days are slower and the daylight lingers. You take lots of pictures on that family vacation, too many according to your kid, but you just have to capture that fleeting moment in time. Now it’s back to school, and life once again becomes a flurry of backpacks, science projects, and soccer practice and suddenly they’re finishing another grade. Another milestone is reached. Another closetful outgrown. 

Before you know it, you’re dropping him off at middle school. This boy that you held in the crook of your elbow stands nearly eye to eye with you now. As he walks away from your car you think he looks too big to be yours. You whisper, please let everyone be good to him. You know how hard middle school can be. And it is. But together, you find your way.

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