In a moment, my kids are firmly ensconced in tweendom, one with his foot caught in the door of teendom.
Soon they will be high school graduates, then college students, then young marrieds, then parents, then senior citizens.
I’m not being dramatic. This is how fast the time goes.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to see many of the people that make up my history: parents and brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, family friends. It’s funny how a funeral can be so sorrowful yet so comforting at the same time. It felt like a holiday during any of the past thirty years, except there was a casket and everybody was crying.
When we came home and I looked at the pictures, I saw my own girl’s face smiling back at me. There I was wearing white tights at Christmas time, sitting next to Granddad. There I was at ten, twenty, thirty, forty.
The time is gone, yet I feel the same as I did in this picture taken ten years ago. My babies are almost looking me in the eye today, and there they are sleeping in our arms. It went by so fast. I talk to my mom on the phone and it’s like when I finished school and began life and we started talking every day. It could be the day we bought our first house, the first day I was alone with my new baby, the day I quit my job, the day I made spaghetti for dinner.
My life is a cliché. Everyone from here to there says it – you blink and they’re gone. “They” are children, grandparents, years, hours, minutes. Seconds. I get it. I’m living it. I say it.
I miss my babies. I miss the simple tasks of the day with them. I miss bathing them, feeding them, strapping them into the car seat. There was no juggling of schedules and calendars, no fitting all the puzzle pieces in. There were naps, and chicken nuggets, and diaper bags.
There were nighttime rituals. There were snacks every night and 8:00 bed times.
Last night, I kissed my son goodnight and because I’m a silly thing who is over my head in nostalgia these days, I rubbed my nose against his just because it was what I did when he was little.
His surprised smile, a rarity these days, told me that he remembered.
Never underestimate the power that an Eskimo kiss has on a t(w)een boy. Or the wonders it can do for his mom’s homesick soul.