Okay, I have a confession to make. Things are just moving a little too fast around here these days. I am the father of an 18 year old and a soon to be 16 year old (Sat.), and I need to ask God, or mom, or someone how I got here all of the sudden?
Because just last week, I was taking one through Freshman orientation and the other to sixth grade football practice.
The week before that I was helping one with a science project and listening to the other one do a screechy, somewhat off-key violin solo in grade school.
The week before that I was getting one off to kindergarten and watching the other admire his reflection in the stove window in the kitchen.
And a month ago, I was watching Ben crawl under Sarah's self-made human rainbow as they danced to Trisha Yearwood's Under the Rainbow on the stereo.
This is not what I signed up for.
I never signed up for getting one ready for college - saying goodbye to her for weeks and months at a time - and prepping the other for getting his license.
Gah! How did this happen? I need dependency, here!
I kind of liked it better when we could put them in the portable crib that we called "baby jail". I liked it better when they ate what we gave them and they depended on us to make it for them. Now they eat when they want and sometimes choose fasting over what mom has chosen for our dinner.
There is no little girl voice stuttering over her words because her mouth could not keep up with her brain. No little girl voice yelling up the stairs "Da! Hey, Da! Its mornin' time!"
And no more little boy belches. Now it's all man sized belching. Thanks for that. Please, not at the dinner table.
No more baby formula, late night feedings, nap times, tantrums, spilled milk, stories at bedtime (I might miss this the most), Candyland and Trouble games, Disney movies, Cartoon Network, Spongebob, Snoopy fishing poles, family nights at the grades school, McDonald Chicken Nuggets (grateful for this, and eternally sorry I ever subjected you to them in the first place), car seats, baby nuks, diapers, ear infections cured by magic pink stuff, Sunday school, preschool, T-Ball, soccer, football games, volleyball games, science projects or stroller visits to the zoo.
Nope. No more of that. Those days are gone.
Like John Mellencamp said "All I got is this rear view mirror. Reflections of where I've been." - (from Longest Days.)
I suppose I will get over this feeling sometime. It will be replaced by other strange realizations, like pending weddings, grandchildren, old fricken age and imminent death, but hey let's not get depressing here.
So I'll continue to deal with it like it's the way life is supposed to happen and try not to live in the past or paint it any better than it was, and forge ahead convinced that the best days are in front of me.
But that doesn't answer the question of where the years went.