Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Slow-Motion Button Needed

Having and raising children is at once the most amazing and terrifying thing a person can do. Both of those extremes are hard to defend verbally. Suffice it to say it is amazing that you get to see a person go from being a cute and cuddly lump of defenseless humanity to someone with their own personality and way of thinking; and it is terrifying for the exact same reasons.

Then there also the whole issue of anticipated grief. Generally happy and content people live in the present and enjoy life as it happens. However, every once in a while they allow themselves to look back on days past with a lot of nostalgia and longing for the good things that can never be relived. Anticipated grief is for those poor souls who are especially aware of time’s cruelty. They are able to look forward to a time when the present events will be those bittersweet memories of days gone by.

As my only daughter Ashlyn turns ten today, I am revisiting many special moments and memories that she has given me. The bow they glued to her bald head in the hospital. The time she had a little too much cough medicine for a three year old. The way she used to creep us out talking about her own private boogey man: “the Tickle Man.” Having tea with her alone one afternoon, when she almost convinced me the silverware was shifting around the table on its own when we weren’t looking. (Perhaps the Tickle Man in action?) The first time she tried to apply eye-shadow and I only found out when she came home from a birthday party. (Apparently colorful raccoon-eyes are all the rage among eight year-olds.)

I am also realizing that we are over halfway through our experience with her in our house and it breaks my heart. Sure, some of the best memories are yet to be made, and we have to make it through the notorious 14th year, one that I find especially loathsome in some girls. But I know that the years we have left with her are going to fly by so fast and I wish there were a way I could slow them down.


  1. Jason, I remember when Matt was 12 and Zach was 6 that I told Andy, "If I could push a stop button, I would. It's pretty perfect right now!" But from this perspective, I can tell you it only gets better!!

  2. Becky's right...it is great to have adult children as friends! But you do have those rocky days ahead, but she'll get through those and stay the sweet person she is. We love her very much!

    I'm proud of you for using the subjunctive correctly in the final paragraph...it is a long lost art anymore!!


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