There are always — always — two things that people talk to you about when you have a new baby.
1) How much sleep are you getting?
2) Enjoy it, because it goes fast.
Is there a three-page book that is handed out to everyone and I missed the giveaway? The first page is an intro, then the next two pages teach people how to bring up the above two points. Was there a meeting or a national email chain I missed out on? I often get asked to give a Nigerian heir my bank account number because he needs my help transferring money around — which I totally get, by the way; the bank system in Nigeria is screwy — but the email about what to bring up to new parents must have hit my spam folder.
Point number one is a work in progress.
Whenever someone would mention the second part, I always thought, “I have 18 years until she’s out of the house. I don’t think it will go that quickly.”
Yeah, in the grand scheme of your life, 18 years is a long time. It’s 6,570 days. There is so much to do over nearly two decades, I’m not worried about cramming it all in at once.
Eighteen years ago I was just learning how to drive. Now? I’m a pro. Just drive with me and see how often I point out other people failing to drive as well as I do. (Oh, wait, everyone drives like that? Shit.)
However, this weekend I finally got a glimpse of what people meant.
My daughter’s dresser was full, so the missus and I decided to reorganize and see if we could free up room. As she handed me onesies to fold and put into a box there was a mix of Ooohs and Ahhhs because only a handful of weeks ago she was wearing these little items.
Now? They fit her like a smedium shirt on a roided-out dude in Hollywood. All that’s missing is “Affliction” across the front.
So in the box you go, little outfit with kittens on it. You can fit right next to the onesies she slept in during the first five months of her life. Move over Dodgers onesie that Dad happily bought because we need to clear up some more room for the outfit that says “cupcake” on it.
It was in those twenty minutes that it struck me.
Yeah, until she moves out of the house to go to college we have a lot of time to
enforce our rules and values on her teach her many things and prepare her for the future.
But, I get it now. It does move fast. Just a few months ago she was wearing those outfits. In a few years I’ll look back at the pictures she drew in kindergarten and think about helping her with math homework (OK, maybe not. If I help her with math she will get everything wrong … but you know what I mean).
To paraphrase Neil Armstrong: One small step for me, one giant leap for her.