As I get older I’ve noticed that things seem to be coming faster and faster.
We moved here in 1985 for what was supposed to be a two-year tour. Twenty-eight years later, we’re still here.
When we arrived, our youngest was just over a year old and I remember watching him roll around on the carpet in our living room.
He was the most active of our brood. Always in motion. Never still. Too, whenever there was the sound of something hitting the floor, it was a given that he’d be a major part of the explanation.
He stayed that way through bicycles, skateboards, snowboards, motorcycles, a rebuilt VW, and rock climbing (with, thank heavens, a helmet).
Through it all, we watched, wondered if it would ever end, and held our breath more often than we care to remember.
On the plus side, he always worked to buy the things he wanted and, even though we helped a few times, we knew that his feet were on the ground in that respect.
After high school, he spun his wheels a bit in community college, but eventually got an Associate’s Degree and ended up in a perfect job at Boeing. He’s in their testing lab and gets to break things. A lot of things. In truth, I’m a bit envious. Breaking things on a daily basis and getting paid to do it. Not sure there’s a better job for a certain type of male — of which I am one.
Dating and girls were part of the package, but — while not being ignored — they weren’t at the top of his list and, to tell the truth, we often wondered (worried?) if there was anyone who would turn his head in a big way.
There was … and is.
She’s the type of young lady that mothers dream about and the kind of woman that dads — not so subtly — tell their sons to be sure “they don’t get away.”
She’s matured him and we’ve watched with a bit of awe. Hugging was never part of his repertoire until about a year ago. Now, it’s a given. Mom loves this. Dad is still getting used to being grabbed because dad (me) is a “guy” and “guys” and hugging have always had an uneasy relationship.
We’ve watched the change and the changes. While he was growing up, it seemed an eternity to each milestone. Now, as he approaches 30, they come fast.
Calls to us about recipes are a staple. Advice on a “good” car. Insurance recommendations. And, then, the small things.
Tools borrowed are a constant. Request for Christmas gifts include kitchen utensils and cookbooks. I’ve even introduced him — with success — to fine bourbons uncorrupted by any type of cola.
With all of this going on, we lie in bed at night and (like you) wonder where the time went. The pre-school years. The clothes that got too small too fast. The Little League games we sat through. The Middle and High School years. The times we wondered if he’d ever finish his degree. The worry about his finding a job that would let him move out.
This past week, he called to let us know that he was in the process of buying a house and asked if we would mind coming by during the inspection. This caught us off guard. Off guard because — no matter that he’s an established young man with a good job and an absolutely outstanding young lady — we still see that young bundle of energy rolling around on the floor.
We’ll be meeting her parents in the near future and there seems to be the air of other plans forming for us to digest.
Nothing new here. It happens to everyone who’s ever had kids. The problem is, we never gave time its due and no one warned us about how quickly it would seem to pass by as we got older.
So, I’m going to do a fairly fruitless thing here by asking younger parents to remind themselves to stop. To stop and savor the moments that are part of their kids’ growing up.
In the early years, time will seem to pass ever so slowly. But that changes. Believe me, it changes. And time is something you can’t retrieve.
Buying a house.
Lord, where did that kid — and all that time — go?
Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org