by guest blogger, Katherine VanBuskirk
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that having children causes you to mark the passage of time more closely. That months and years, scrapes and tantrums, cuddles and kisses blur together. That you find yourself reminiscing about the days of sleepless nights, potty training and first steps after a day of lacing skates and watching another gymnastics/basketball/soccer practice.
The same parents will also tell you that it’s not without some wistfulness that you remember how the child stretched out along the length of you at story time used to fit in the crook of your arm. And that even bedtime rituals that grew out of necessity while trying to calm a newborn melt your heart as you practice them still seven years later.
This isn’t a huge revelation to any parent. That feeling strikes us all from time to time. That rush of realization that your kids are growing up. Fast.
Recently I’ve noticed that we’re going through a shift at our house. We’ve hit this sweet spot that has me smiling all the way home from work most days.
I hadn’t thought much about it until last week when I held the kids’ school photos in my hands. I couldn’t get over these two little people staring back at me. Both wore their own signature grins – so much a part of who they are.
It all made me realize that while this passage of time indeed marks milestones, what happens while we’re ticking off the boxes is that these little creatures become people. Suddenly they surprise you with their sensitivity, their unique way of explaining things, or the way they eat their sandwich. Little signatures everywhere.
I sometimes shake my head as I watch G run up the street to call on his friend – every part of me wanting to call out to him, chase him down, phone ahead to make sure they know he’s coming.
Just as my hand twitches for a smaller one as I make my way across a parking lot, and my head lifts off the pillow at the sound of a cough or a cry, I am bound to these people for the rest of their lives.
But the times are changing. That head shake as I watch him run down the street brings me back. Makes me remember that this baby of mine is a kid now. That he’s getting good at knowing right from wrong. That he tries to make wise decisions and that I think we’re doing a pretty good job at helping him learn from his missteps along the way.
And in his footsteps his sister will follow. Of that I am sure.
So no photo retakes for these kids. Those beautiful faces are perfect the way they are – a snapshot of the way they are in this moment. This perfect moment.
Katherine VanBuskirk is a communications professional in Halifax. She is rarely without a latte, a list and at least one of her two children.