This weekend we celebrated the baptism of our newest little god-daughter, Kate Rilee. She wore the dress that my youngest daughter wore at her own baptism, 18 years ago to the day. It was the dress that Kate’s mother, our dear family nanny, wore at her baptism, about 18 years before that.
Standing there looking at my 18 year old daughter holding baby Kate I realized how quickly those years have flown by. The next threshold we’ll be crossing will be college dorm day, coming in just a few short months.
Part of me shouts, “Yeah! We’re free!”
Another part of me knows that I’ll cry like a baby when our third – and last – child leaves the nest.
Time has a way of being weirdly elastic for us parents. My friend Isaac, a new parent to a 6 week old, tells me that these six weeks feel like forever to him. He can’t imagine looking back in 18 years and thinking the time has flown.
I remember at about week 4 of sleepless nights and complete, basket-case-new-parent-anxiety with my first daughter, hearing someone say, “Oh, she’s brand new!”
Once I got past looking at that person like they were complete looney-tunes, I was shocked to realize that it had only been four weeks – it seemed like a lifetime since I was a carefree, fully-employed, non-mother, functional person.
Now, so many years later, I look at my grown daughters and think how quickly time has flown.
Have I been a good mother to them? Have I praised them; loved them; nurtured their dreams? Have I taught them to trust; to love; to be open to the joys life can bring?
It all seems so fast – just a heartbeat or two from that moment we stood in public and pledged to raise them in a way that honored our sense of a great, high power, and today, when we watch them stand as young women in their own right.
Pardon me if I get just a little choked up.