You have heard this before many times: “where has the time gone?” Indeed. One day you cannot wait for your graduation from high school and suddenly years have past and you have one of your own children in high school. Blink and 20 years pass you as if the markers of years are less mathematical and more like bits of data stored on a hard drive that speeds faster by the moment. It skips parts, retaining grooves from the most painful and most pleasurable snapshots. A scar from a surgery reminds you that a piece of you is gone and never can be put back. Memories triggered by ocean breezes draw out a smile unexpectedly. Mom’s lasagna comforts. The year on your drivers license may be constant, but the future is not. Life has curve balls, even though you know God has allowed you to walk a few bases now and again.
As a parent, the passage of time intensely tastes bitter sweet. Each time I encounter the dimples on a little baby’s knuckles or the chubby feet of a toddler I am undone. The giggles of my little girl and little boy of the past reverberate, but the echo seems both greater in distance and potency. For instance, I notice how my teen daughter uses those same hands that were dimpled to play a guitar loudly from an amplifier–with a lot of distortion. I observe my son’s once gentle hands destroy aliens with the controller of a video game. He once sucked his thumb.
Its hard to let go. My wife and I both know that the day will come that we will have to release completely the care of our children. Actually, each year we let go as parents whether we like it or not. Baby teeth one day will cease falling out. Those little dimpled hands no longer exist! As soon as you get used to one lovely thing about your child, they grow out of it. This both jars and enchants. Then you are worried about their future as you grieve the passing of time.
Enjoy the moment and the years will take care of themselves. Or, as Jesus puts it, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34) While this makes perfect sense, I am slow to learn. Share some ideas. How do you let tomorrow worry about itself?