Occasionally when I check my Facebook I have noticed that Facebook will show me a picture I have taken on the same day in a previous year. Now I don’t post a great deal of pictures so it is possible they have been doing this for quite some time.
Never the less it is a new feature for me.
A few weeks back Facebook showed me a picture from two years ago. The picture showed my oldest son and daughter playing with their bikes in our driveway. I couldn’t help but notice that my driveway was completely devoid of snow. The picture gave me a moment of ‘snowdrepressing’ thoughts but little else. More recently Facebook has showed me a same day different year picture and there was my daughter, three years younger smiling at me standing on a small plastic slide in our playroom. The caption read ‘Look where I can get to all by myself Daddy’.
This picture took me back for a moment. It was like time itself suddenly pounced on me, not unlike the way it does when I remember that no part of the 1990’s was ten years ago anymore. It was like all of a sudden the gravity of those three years hit me at once. Almost three full years have gone by since I went back to work and stopped being a stay at home dad. The years on the one hand seem to have simply evaporated away. And yet the days on the other hand have seemed so long and many of them were so difficult to get through.
A wiser man than I once said, ‘People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.’ And boy do I ever feel like I have been hit smack in the face with a big ball of wibbly wobbly time-y wimey stuff.
Now that my kids are 6, 4, and 2 instead of 3, 1, and hypothetical I am beginning to understand better why so many people kept telling me to; ‘cherish these moments while they are young’. Because there are so many stages that we have closed the book on. In our home there are no more rocking and shhhhing, no more bottles, no my cuddly babies passed out on my shoulders. And there are times when I miss those moments. Times I wish I did perhaps take a little more time to cherish the moment.
However because my kids are now 6, 4, and 2 and not 16, 14, and 12 I can still remember why I was not able to cherish each day. Each day with a newborn, or an infant or a toddler brings so many challenges. Trying to get out of the house to pick up groceries, or trying to get together when friends, or trying just to sit down and watch an uninterrupted movie together were feats worthy of Hercules. Not to mention trying to avoid being buried in laundry and dirty dishes, or trying to get through the day when you just spent most of the night awake. Let’s not mince words many of my precious moments worth cherishing are nestled within days that I would much rather forget.
Maybe this is one of the great paradoxes of parenthood. The days are so long and seem to go on forever. But the years just fly by in the blink of an eye. I’d love to hear about your days that took forever, or about those times when you realized just how much time really did fly by.
Let’s meet in the comments.
Christopher Drew is the pastor at Sackville Baptist Church. He is the father for three and the husband of one. He is a self professed geek and gamer. Read more about family, faith, and geekery at http://ModernManOfTheCloth.com