It may seem like an exercise in ridiculousness, but this week I've found myself wishing the present weren't so fleeting.
In church last Sunday, I watched the teenagers that I had taught in Primary (youth Sunday School in the LDS Church) when they were turning ten. They are now on the brink of graduation, serving missions, and going to college. Later, at a youth fireside that evening I watched--and yes, intervened--as one of my former Bear Den Cub Scouts flirted openly with my almost-13-yr-old daughter. "Wait! When did he get taller than me?!" I thought. "Can he really be in high school already?"
For almost a decade now, we've lived in a neighborhood that embraces the proverb that "it takes a village to raise a child." As these kids grow up and move on, I feel a little bit like some of my own apron strings are being severed. I felt sad thinking that these young adults that I've watched grow up will soon be starting adult lives of their own, marrying and raising children of their own. They will no longer be a part of my immediate neighborhood family.
And so I've turned my attention to my own children's rapid growth. Doing so has given me more joy in the little moments, while also wishing I could hang on to those moments a little longer.
Where I used to be annoyed each spring by the mud tracks and trails of sand brought in by my kids after an afternoon playing in the adjacent field, this week I just laugh and tell my son he has become the superhero known as Dirt Man. (It helps that I've learned to shake out all his pockets before tossing them in the washer.)
Instead of getting annoyed that Jedi Dirt Man has once again left his crusty socks on the porch as a greeting to visitors, now I just stop and take a picture.
I do the same when I find my teenager draped on the couch for an afternoon nap with a pointless TV show still running on the cell phone.
(I knew she was in a deep sleep when I lifted the phone and she didn't even stir.)
With yesterday's high pressure and warm temperatures, my kids thought summer had come. I came home to find #3 and her friend running a lemonade stand, #5--aka Dirt Man--shirtless and digging a "swimming pool" in the field, and #s 2 and 4 running around in their swimsuits with friends.
Life is good, but as my new gray hairs will attest, it is running by on little feet way too quickly.