Earlier this week, a post appeared in my Facebook newsfeed that said something along the lines of "Thanks, now I know what each of your children look like and what grade they are in." As if I needed a reminder that I'm smack dab in the middle of "Club 30", the prevalance of back to school photos are proof – I'm a parent, and so are most of the rest of you.
I like the back to school photos, and I'm entertained by the range of effort from "this is my kid on the first day of school" to "this is my child's full name, age, teacher, likes, dislikes and career aspirations as of this very moment."
What pains me are the "don't blink! It really DOES go by too fast!" posts that go along with it. It's not that I don't have moments where I feel exactly the same way. But "don't blink" is a sentiment that, for me, is often riddled with guilt and thoughts of coulda shoulda woulda. It's unfair to feel that way – unfair to me, and to the tiny humans.
I am here. For the important things, the semi-important things, and also the mind-numbingly mundane things. My kids will grow up knowing they were loved and well cared for.
But it has to be okay to blink. It has to be okay to take my eyes off of them. Time is going to pass, regardless. If I spend all eighteen of my years with them under my roof "not blinking", what happens to me? What happens to my marriage, my friendships, and me without them, when they are gone?
Blink. Look away. Then refocus. You will be amazed by what happened when you looked away, and what you're able to notice that's new because you blinked.