“O sweet, delusive Noon, Which the morning climbs to find, O moment sped too soon, And morning left behind.” – Helen Hunt Jackson
Where has the time gone?
It seems like just-yesterday, you fit into my hand: so small and (seemed) so breakable.
I was so scared every time you moved or made a noise. I would hold my breath and just watch you, making sure I could see the rise and fall of your tiny little chest.
Man, I was so afraid to dress you. I would look everywhere for a button or zip-up onesie, as I was afraid your head would pop off your neck if I tried putting a shirt over your little head.
Of course, that would never happen, but your dad was just so scared. I was so certain I would drop you, or do something that I would have to explain to your mom.
We had some good, late-night talks about how our days were, over feedings and our strolling around the bedroom, or living room, as I tried to get rid of your hiccups. (And, no, I still have not told mom our secret for getting rid of your hiccups so quickly; so don’t tell her). We also caught up on the sports highlights we’d missed that day on Sports Center.
During that time, the minutes seemed to go so-slow. I was so certain everything around you was a possible threat–to cause you harm. When anyone would hold you, I would watch them like a hawk, keeping a running clock in my head as to how long they held you. I didn’t really like sharing you.
By the way ,when we would have our little chats, I am sure you understood me, as you would smile at me or make a noise here and there. (I am pretty sure, most of the time, you just farted and giggled, so thanks for humoring the old man.)
Now, you should know. Just like now, your dad loved kissing on you and hugging you. And, like now, you would mess with good, old dad. Some days, I feel like I have blinked and you’re now 2-1/2 years old. I wonder: Where has the time gone? From that little boy who fit into my hands, you’re now so tall. You still fit in my arms, and your personality grows each minute of the day. Your vocabulary is expanding, as well as your food intake (as well as the grocery bill).
You can count to 9 right now (you have trouble with 8 sometimes, but I’m still counting it). You’re expressing what you want more and more (I could go for fewer of your “no’s”). You look so grown-up to me. I really can’t believe your age.
I am happy, but sad as well. (Happy, because you’re growing and learning and doing all the things a well-developed child should be. But, I am sad, because a part of me still wishes you would fit in my hands. I still want our late night talks, our bonding over your hiccups.
I so love watching you play with your dinosaurs, explaining to me how the fight is playing out. Your T-Rex and Horn say: “Bring it on!” I watch how excited you are about it all. I understand that this is the natural cycle of things, but (as your dad) I want to be able to slow these times down–to go back a few years every now and then.
Sadly, life doesn’t allow for that.
Oh, I can imagine the wonders you have yet to see–the things you have yet to experience. I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of these earliest adventure. It has brought me endless smiles and laughs. When you’re not looking, I won’t lie… there have been some tears too. They’ve mostly been tears of joy, but a few of sadness, as I’m realizing how quickly these days are becoming the past–with every breath and blink.
So, do the old man a favor… When you see him staring at you–with a smile on his face–give him a hug and let him hold you.
As I believe for those few brief minutes, that I can hold back time (and hold that tiny, little baby in my hands once again).
An absolutely beautiful post! I should warn you though…it won’t be long until you’re looking back wondering where your little 2-1/2 year old is! I’m afraid it’s going to be an ongoing process!
Thank you Paul. Yes, sadly I am well too aware of that fact, I believe we all need our child to come with a DVR mode, so we can rewind, pause and slow then down.
Awesome. If you think 2-1/2 is bad, our twins just turned 4, and our youngest turns 2 this coming Monday. Time really does fly too quickly.
Yes it does, Tom. I do not envy you, and no I am not looking forward to 4,5,6 or 60. I know it is selfish to want them to stay our little babies, but I am ok with being selfish. 🙂
I agree. The best thing we can do is take pictures (and video) to help us remember when they were little
Yes indeed, Tom, yes indeed……
Great post. Thanks for making me hate that life happens and love that life is happening all in one post. I love you, Don!
Ryan, thank you so much. I have nothing but love for you too my friend 🙂
The days are long, bit the years are short…
We have a boy who is nearly as old as yours and every time I stare in wonder at how much he can do now its mixed with a tinge of melancholy -almost grief- thinking of those first ways and weeks.
So we had another one. Problem is, she is growing too….
I feel you, it is bitter sweet for us as parents.
Jees that actually made me well up, and mines only 7 weeks old. I may borrow this and email it to the email account we set up for him to read when he’s older. Oh and what’s the secret to getting rid of hiccups?
Mat, your more then welcome too 🙂 As for the secret…. Well his mom reads my work so, I need to keep that in my back pocket. lol
Don, this was great. And, damn you, it makes me miss my infant daughter so much. She’s almost four now, and of course I love her almost-four-year-old self desperately. But those times with my daughter as an infant were so intense, so life-changing for me, it’s really hard not to have almost painful nostalgic feelings for that little creature who stole my heart. My wife suggests this is a good reason for us to have another child, and while I’m not entirely opposed to growing our family, I doubt that another creature could replace the infant that I miss so much. It would simply add another who would steal my heart in a different way, and who I would miss the same way in a year’s time.
Thank you Neal. 🙂
We wait and want them to reach these points in their life. Then they do and we are proud but we miss what passed. I have to get lucky for my 9-year-old to let me tickle him. Sucks! I loved those squeals.
Nothing like the sound of your child laughing. I hope your 9 year old will let you every now and then, for your sake and mine, ( as mine will be that age someday too ) 🙂
He does but I have to be a detective to figure out when the time is right. It’s worth it!
Well I am glad your still able too, and I am sure as you said, the detective work is worth it 🙂
Beautiful post. My son is turning 5 and daughter 10 soon. I can totally relate. Love the last part of your article.
Jason, Thank you. The last part is my favorite too, now only if we could make that happen 🙂
Thank you for Sharing this. Life passes so quickly and I get caught up in it. Articles like this help me remember to enjoy the moments. My father’s passing left his two little boys to face the world without a father’s guidance. I’m now his age when he died, and raising two little boys of my own. Its almost like starting where he left off. I can’t help but see him when I look at my boys.
Daniel, I am sorry to hear you lost your dad, ( even if it may have been quite a few years ago). I think your dad gave you a gift, that being involved and engaged with your children everyday is so fleeting, as you do not know……….. I am glad you are able to see him in your 2 boys. 🙂
Nice. I totally agree with this. Even though our youngest is 2.5 and becoming very independent, he still takes forever to get to sleep and I love laying there next to him while he does. That’s something that annoys me know as he can steal over an hour from my day some nights, but I will miss this when he’s older.
Darrell, I know how you feel. My son, like me does not sleep for long periods of time. So I am the one who lays with him til sleep comes, and it does take away from me working a lot of nights. And like you I get annoyed sometimes, but only for a few seconds. All it takes is a smile from him and I forget and know this is where I want and need to be. 🙂