Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Life Comes at You Fast
Anyone remember those Nationwide commercials where life passes in the blink of an eye? If not, here's a quick reminder...
I thought of this commercial this past Sunday when attending the Milton HS baccalaureate service. Hal was the guest speaker and I, like the supportive wife that I am, went along. It was a beautiful service and I enjoyed a little people watching as an anonymous guest. I watched the graduates hugging each other and grinning from ear to ear. I watched proud mamas and papas snapping pictures and breathing sighs of relief. And I watched my life flash before my eyes.
As Hal stood up in front of those graduates, he spoke about our high school days. And I had a minor panic attack. You see, reader, I remember sitting in those robes. I remember hugging my friends and I remember my parents snapping those photos. Where did the last (cough, cough, ahem) years go? But that's not what caused my shallow breathing and sudden dizzy spell. What brought that on was the sobering realization that my Hannah will be among this enrobed multitude before I know it.
Ok, sure, in six years, but still... if the last (cough, cough, ahem) years went by so fast, won't the next six?
The answer is yes. Life doesn't slow down. In fact, it seems to speed up the older I get. And ultimately, I don't mind. I'm not one of those parents who wants to freeze their child and protect them from growing up. But it did make me reflect just a little how precious the time I do have with my kids is.
I somehow doubt that all of those arguments about dirty clothes and rolling eyes will matter much in May of 2015. I doubt that I'll be grateful for all of those times that instead of just enjoying her company over a magazine, I cleaned out my refrigerator. It may sound trite, but life really does come at you fast.
And while I know it's not realistic to be fully present ALL the time with your kids - heck, that is another problem all of its own - I think that I can do a little better. I can enjoy her a little more and fuss at her a little less... even when she makes it hard to do... especially when she makes that hard to do. Maybe that way, when she walks down that corridor as a high school grad, we'll both be better prepared for life apart.