Passing the Time

There is a quote by Dr. Seuss that goes something like “How did it get so late so soon?”

This morning I logged on to Facebook to see my six year-old staring back at me, but in baby form. She was six months old then, lounging on the couch, looking exactly like she looks now, only completely different. I don’t know what it was about seeing that picture, but in that moment, I felt time shoot through me like a bullet. Only six years ago, yet it might as well be a lifetime.

Evelyn, 2011

Look at her there, judging me for putting her in those ridiculous socks, yet completely helpless against my whims. Now she says things like, “Sure, I’ll have the sweet potato casserole, it sounds interesting,” and “That shirt is not going to work with these leggings.”

Things a legit person says. A real person. Not even just kid things, though she says those too. It is amazing to me that this little baby is speaking to me and yelling at me and asking me questions about the phases of the moon and whether or not Santa should try a yoga pose to fit down the chimney more easily.

It’s cliche perhaps, but it is so true. It all just happened in the blink of an eye. Today she’s six, and tomorrow she’ll be 18 and then I’ll be dead. That’s how it feels sometimes, this life, doesn’t it? It’s moving so fast. And everything we do, every decision we agonize over, every tear we shed, all of those will blur together and it will be so late, so soon.

How do we, as parents, even as humans, find a way to capture these moments and really live in them, without just relying on a Facebook algorithm to help us recall? How do we find gratitude in the mundane, joy in our every day? Is it okay if we forget? Am I even really remembering that day, when I put her in those red pants and those socks? Or is the photograph all I have left?

How did it get so late, so soon?

Evelyn, 2017