There are times as a parent that a milestone arrives and there is an overwhelming sense that somebody must have flipped the switch to "Warp Speed". I don't remember giving the order to speed recklessly through my children's lives, yet I found myself crashing into a kindergarten room with my oldest a few weeks ago. How can this be? I can still close my eyes and feel like I'm getting off the plane from Iraq to see her birth.
I wrote about it a post awhile back, so I hate to keep bringing it up, but having kids makes you more aware than you've ever been of the passage of time. Without kids, I wouldn't give a second thought to how quickly the last five years have passed, but now that I have kids, I can see it passing before my eyes. I look at pictures from a year ago, and while I still look just as stunning as I did 365 days ago, my kids look like they've aged ten years (in a good way). As I type this post, I'm looking at a family picture taken last fall. The two kids I had at the time seem so young compared to the two I dropped off this morning before coming to work.
At this time last year, my wife and I were hoping to get pregnant again, but now we have a two-month old that smiles and coos. In the picture on my desk, one can barely tell that my sister-in-law is pregnant, but my niece was crawling around like a pro when I dropped my boys off for daycare this morning.
I'm loving every second of this adventure, but I at the same time, I'm bracing myself for the morning that I wake up to the sound of my daughter getting ready for her wedding day or my sons packing up to head to college. I think of the movie Click starring Adam Sandler, and realize that while his remote started auto-fast-forwarding because he was using it so much, mine would probably get stuck in pause mode. I would want to pause on every smile, hug, and "I love you, Daddy," but life doesn't work that way, so I'll just have to do my best to live in the moment every moment I get.