Do Not Blink · 2 February 2013

Do not blink. It is advice we often hear when passing through tiny towns on road trips, but it is also good advice for life.

Part of the reason I thought of this good advice is because Thing 2 just finished his second sports season. In high school. I thought time flew by quickly when Thing 1 graduated and moved out, but now our second child is through with his first semester in high school. He is not a baby anymore. None of the three boys are anymore. It seems like life is flying by quicker than ever.

That realization of time passing always catches me off guard, but it gives me cause to pause. That realization helps me to remember. Do not blink.

As I see people with young children, I remember a little of what it was like. Any outing was a production to be taken seriously. Strollers and kids and all their stuff had to be packed into the car and then out again. We had to carry kids, snacks, drinks, clothes, diaper bag, camera bags – seemingly everything, including the kitchen sink – everywhere we went. And each time we had to enter or leave a place, taking inventory (especially, counting kids) was of paramount importance.

It seems like so long ago that we were toting around everybody and everything. But it was just yesterday.

I must have blinked.

Regardless of who tells us or how many times they tell us, we cannot really know how fast time passes. We cannot really know how precious each moment with a loved one really is until we look back. Sometimes, we forget to take snapshots in our hearts and minds. But we need to remember because time moves on without anybody’s permission. We need to keep those pictures in our mind’s eye because sometimes we blink.

As I look back at our kids growing up, I remember and realize. I do not miss midnight feedings, but I miss my babies looking at me like I am the most important person (besides their mother) in their lives. I do not miss changing dirty diapers or wiping runny noses, but I miss the trust and innocence of childhood. I do not miss carting everything with us everywhere we went, but I miss giving piggy back rides to my little boys.

I realize the kids are growing up too quickly. I realize I need to stop blinking.

It is funny. When I started out, I just wanted to take a lighthearted look at advice I have given to many a young parent. Advice that we have all been given time and again. But regardless of how many times or by how many people we get this good advice, we cannot really know the truth of it until we have been through it. Until we look back and wonder where the time has gone. Until we realize that our kids are not babies or even kids anymore. Until we realize we have been blinking.

I know that none of us can really take this great advice, but even so I will keep giving it. Over and over. Especially on this road trip called life. Do not blink.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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