When someone once told me that time went by in a blink of an eye, I used to wonder what the hell they meant. I was about 13 at the time and super antsy to grow up. I desperately wanted to have my first boyfriend, my first kiss, to date, to have my own apartment, and to do all the super fun and exotic things I imagined all adults did when they grew up. I ached for time to quicken. Now I’m 33 and my baby, my one and only little girl, is just a month away from starting kindergarten. Time tricked me. It sped up at the wrong time.
Now, it’s our last official summer where we can still look at our daughter and think we have so much time before she grows up. We don’t. That saying has finally come true… I feel like I just held her for the first time yesterday and I blinked and now she is almost five. I have to share her with the world now and not just keep her bundled up in my arms…I fear for how old she will be on my next blink.
This age, however, has been my favorite so far when it comes to being a parent. She is turning 5 yrs old next month and every moment that passes, she discovers something new and amazing about the world around her. So new and amazing, that she has to share it by telling us about it, then drawing it and then again, re-counting it to every single person we meet. I am in awe of that beautiful sense of wonder a child can have of the world and sometimes, I wish I could remember feeling it. She can pick a flower at random, from anywhere she is near and see it as a beautiful flower while I see it as something that may contain weird bugs. She can look at an area of dirt and see kingdoms and castles, and I just see an area where I may get my shoes dirty, or even worse, muddy.
Sometimes, my 7 yr old nephew tries to convince her that her ideas aren’t real. So she comes running to me and asks me, “Mommy- are mermaids real? Carlos says they aren’t, but mommy, I know they are- I know it. It’s true right Mommy?” She looks at me with her big, brown eyes with that searching, questioning, anticipating look. The one that looks like your answer could decide if the world ended right that second or not. I cup her face in my hands, kiss her forehead and tell her, “Of course they are- as long as you say they do.” She bursts into a huge smile, kisses me and runs yelling back at my nephew, “You’re wrong! They are real and I know cause my mommy says so and my mommy knows everything!” and she smiles at me once more before running off to play again. Mermaids swirling in her head and happy.
And that right there, is where instead of wishing time would go faster, like I did 20 years ago, I search for a way to just hit a pause button, and keep my daughter from fast forwarding too soon.