Sunday, September 2, 2012
But they're so little
I wanted to share with you this photo of my cousin, Joanne, and her little boy. I think it was probably taken soon after his birth because the two of them have that perfectly contented look on their faces, one that speaks of relief, delight, exhaustion, and, of course, love. And exhaustion.
The thing about this photo is that today this little boy left for college. Yes, you read that right. For college. This week, as our children begin or return to school, I want you to think just for a moment about this photo.
Our children are going to grow older.
They might throw themselves into the world, or reluctantly step into it, but no matter the path, they will grow. My Alyce begins senior kindergarten on Tuesday (along with so many little ones I have the privilege of knowing and loving) and when I look at this photo I am immediately reminded that my (sometimes loud) complaints about the perils of parenting young children are often misplaced. Yes, I'm a bit tired. Yes, I wish Alyce would wait patiently for me to answer her 5,398 questions each day. Yes, I would like to do at least one task a day uninterrupted.
But now I know the secret: it won't always be like this. I can already hear my future self lamenting over the passage of time. I am already asking Matt if he remembers when Alyce learned to sing (shortly after birth, it seems, and shows no signs of stopping) or how she used to mispronounce the word yogurt. She is already growing up. Rather than focusing on the complaining (though there will still be a few complaints, since, well, I'm a human being), I would like to think instead about how I struck gold. It doesn't get much better than my little family and I know it. Let's not waste our time with other thoughts.
Alyce is leaping and dancing through these years and I better quit bothering with complaints and just focus on catching up with her. Thanks, Joanne, for the heads up.