Zero to twenty two at the speed of light or sound (whichever one is faster!)
I never really believed it would happen to me, although I had been warned more times than I care to remember. I would be walking along, or more like lumbering along, with a baby (or two or three) in tow when someone would inadvertently stop me and say, “Make sure you enjoy every minute with your children…they will be grown before you know it.”
Those words never rang more true than last Saturday morning when I looked up from my morning cup of tea and newspaper (yes, I still read the paper) as my oldest son lumbered into the kitchen sleepy-eyed, smiling and looking for some coffee to brew. My recent college graduate. Where did the time GO?
Travis was born on a chilly March afternoon as an episode of the ‘Three Stooges’ blared on the hospital television. He was a bruiser of a guy at 8 pounds and 14 ounces, with a pair of broad shoulders that I couldn’t wrestle into the baby blue outfit I had packed to take him home in. Instead we wrapped him up tight in a blanket to strap him in his car seat for our inaugural ride home as a new family. I can remember thinking the doctors and nurses were reckless to assume Brian and I had any business taking home a baby, never mind raising one. We drove away from the hospital like bank robbers following the world’s greatest heist. We were beaming.
Travis made it easy. And when his brother and sister were born, they never once suspected that we were rookies with the whole parenting thing. Or at least they didn’t let on. We only wanted the best for our family. So we read to them and spoke to them like they were thirty years old before they could even sit up by themselves. When we told them what all parents tell their children, work hard and be nice; they listened to us. When they went to school and learned not everyone was kind, we told them there were more good people in the world than bad; they believed us. When we told them to dream big; they showed us.
On Saturday, I stood back and took a deep breath as family and friends arrived to celebrate Travis’ graduation. I was hoping for a Polaroid moment; one that I would never forget. Travis stood tall, proud, and confident. He is a man who appreciates the simple things in life: a good book, three square meals a day, spending time with his grandfather and father, having lunch with his brother, hanging out with friends, a contentious political conversation, a firm handshake, and a strong cup of black coffee (extra large).
Travis heads off to graduate school in the fall. He has paved the way for his brother Tyler (a college junior) and sister Mackenzie (a high school senior). They have carved their own notable paths. I find myself bracing for another round of college applications and college graduations.
Maybe the doctors and nurses knew something we didn’t. As much as I hate to admit it, when I see a mom with young ones in tow, I always say, “Make sure you enjoy every minute with your children…they will be grown before you know it.” It’s a fair warning after all.