Do you ever get a piece of a song stuck in your head? I've had one stuck in my head the last week or so, it's a country song and one of the lines is "Don't blink, life goes faster than you think." I guess it hit me the other day on my mom's birthday, she turned 66 and I immediately tried to calculate how old my dad would be next month on his birthday, and I panicked thinking he was going to be 70, but then realized he would be 69 instead. And I felt relieved that it would be a whole extra year until he turned 70. Not that 70 is a bad number, but gosh weren't my parents half that age just a minute ago? Wasn't I the 6 year old going to school in a uniform and not my own son? What happened? Oh yeah, I blinked. So I panic, because it goes by too fast and I have to work, and I have to clean, and I have to pay bills, and I have to have stupid arguments with my husband, and I have to nag my son because he spilled milk on the floor, and I have to change the litter box, and I have to grocery shop, and I have to drop my son off at school when all I want to do is sit him down and stare at him (unblinking) so he won't grow and I won't lose those precious moments, like 6 year old laughter and 6 year old jokes and 6 year old antics and 6 year old innocence. 6 year old innocence. I mean, is there anything sweeter? He wants to marry his Mommy. He thinks she's the most beautiful woman in the whole world. He gives unsolicited hugs and kisses. He still thinks I know everything. And often I catch myself thinking about him while I'm at work and he's at school. And I wonder what he's doing, what he's thinking all those hours apart from me. How he's coping. And the thing is, he is coping, without me, because it's all part of that darn growing up stuff. And more and more I find myself just looking at him when he's talking. And not particularly paying attention to what he's saying (but knowing in his 6 year old little mind what he's saying is very important and deserves my utmost attention), but I find myself just looking at him. Like I haven't really seen him in a while, and I'm taking in the beauty of him. That he's my son. This little guy growing up so fast, he's mine. He's my gift to this world, and it gets really profound at times. And I cry. Just over the amazement of it all. And he's still talking, and I'm still looking at him and the moment is just for me.
So then I look at my own parents. And I think they are the strongest people I know. Because they let go of the 6 year old innocence, they lived through it leaving. 3 times they lived through it leaving. How it must've broke their hearts to see it go (because it's breaking mine) and even though I know I will cherish every year. I can't help but hold onto each one a little tighter, and a little longer, hoping it won't slip away quite as fast as the others have.