It was taken at a bike parade this Fourth of July. I am 40. Sam is 10. Kate is 7...within inches of turning 8 and Claire is 4.5.
Today at the pool, I ran into an old friend from high school. I was trying to corral my brood between the indoor and the outdoor water slide pools and she grabbed me..."Kelly...I don't know what's happened to Sam but he's grown. He's so tall and such a handsome kid."
My heart sort of stopped because to me on any given day, he's just my kid. But then, I look at pictures like the one above and realize...he's literally up to my shoulders. How dear God did that happen? He's only 10 years old.
Juxtapose this pic to the one below of me and my siblings. It's not the best of us. We'd all been pushing our kids on bikes at the Bike Parade in the midst of humid ass July weather and they were forced against their will to take the traditional pose against my mom's kitchen wall mural.
You know which one I am...Michael is my younger brother by 4 years. Christina...the red head on the right is my younger sister by 12 years and my baby sister April on the left is younger by 13.
They all have kiddos of their own and really fantastic lives. But not long ago, I was fighting like crazy with Mike. I used to beat the shit out of him until he turned 12 and then he returned the favor by pinning me down and spitting on me just exactly when no parent was looking. I practically helped raise my sisters...changed their diapers, helped them to brush their teeth, read to them and now, I look at them as grown women raising their own littles and I think...please, stop time.
It struck me at the pool that I often live my life in the following fashion...I look at all of the things I have going on and pace myself by saying...everything will be better after I get through this meeting or presentation or project or family event or fill in the blank. I let myself celebrate for 2.5 seconds and then I'm off to the races on to the next item to check off the list.
Somewhere in the mix, life happens and people grow up and time keeps ticking and memories are either made and savored or, they're not pardoned by the busy hectic freneticness of life.
And so, when my friend said that Sam was so tall and handsome, I thought, I must enjoy this journey. One day, he'll be like my brother with his own family and responsibilities. For now, I'll plan to stop and look him in the eye when he's telling me about the latest chapter of a book or a movie that's coming out that he wants to see. I'll engage him and ask questions...without trying to hurry through it because I'm constantly multi-tasking.
I'll remind myself that
swimming deeply in the waters of all of it is so much more rewarding than simply treading. Because time goes on no matter...even when we're desperate for it to slow down and let us savor the moments.