“She’s going to leave me” I mournfully declared for weeks to whomever would listen. My then-four-year-old-daughter had lost her first tooth and I saw the future looming. Not that I didn’t know it was on its way. What I didn’t expect was my reaction.
As my youngest, all my daughter’s milestones would be the last I’d experience as a parent. Just when I’d barely adjust to one of her stages of growth, she’d go ahead and move to the next one. I wanted to freeze time despite reality.
Is this post different than any other on quick kid growth, flying time and a general longing for turning the clock back? Probably not. But I do think frequent discussion of the topic works as a reminder, a figurative pinch to keep us alert and in the moment.
We work hard to keep close a mental snapshot of the most cherished parts of our lives. We may even wish we could go back for a do-over. Or not.
Oddly, the tension between holding on and letting go cradles our hopes and fears. Perhaps the pull keeps us balanced. Life’s inevitabilities are certain. Our feelings about them aren’t.
We may seize the moment but it passes way too quickly. We want it back. The closest we get to ‘freezing time’ is making time to spend time.
My then-four-year-old is now well into her seventeenth year. Ready or not, the future is here. Her teeth are marvelous. X, S