The other day, my daughter shared the wonderful news that she had not one, but two interviews with recruiters from colleges on the East Coast.
During the flurry of clothes shopping and mock interviews that ensued, it struck me that it feels like only yesterday that I was in her shoes.
She is now only two years younger than I was when she came into this world, back when I was a college student myself.
When I was her age, I had no way of knowing that in only two years I’d be married and would have a daughter, my college education put on hold for almost 10 years while I raised her and her little brother.
Where has the time gone since then? I feel like I’ve been living at warp speed.
The old adage “time flies when you’re having fun” makes sense. It is during the best moments of one’s life that they often feel caught up in a whirlwind of excitement.
It amazes me that those are the exact moments you wish you could slow down time and make last forever.
The mundane moments, the little things, those are the moments I look back on most.
I remember making dinner while the kids played in the background, waking in the middle of the night to soothe a fussy newborn back to sleep, and longing to be able to read in silence without being asked 20 questions a minute. Now I’d give almost anything to have those days back.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so proud of my kids’ accomplishments as I watch them excel at advanced placement classes and work toward their black belts in tae kwon do, which they both should have within the next year.
They’ve accomplished almost everything I wish I had by their ages.
But it would be amazing to be able to turn back time, even if just for one day, and spend time with them as the little kids I still see them as in my heart.
It’s funny to me that I longed for the exact opposite when they were little, back when I used to view every birthday as a step closer to them becoming more and more self-sufficient.
I didn’t realize how quickly the day would come when I’d wake up to find that wish had come true.
Now I’m the middle-aged mom in the grocery store begging polite strangers to hang on to those precious moments with their babies and toddlers, and cherish them before the time flies by.
I used to worry that I wouldn’t be a good mom, and that I would inadvertently do something wrong to mess up my kids’ lives.
To counteract that fear, I spent hours reading to my kids, and taught them all I could think of to teach them.
I wish I’d slowed down, and worried less. They turned out just fine — more than that actually — so I could have absorbed the wonder of every moment I was able to share with them rather than focusing on the “what ifs.”
So, those are my tidbits of advice to any new moms and dads willing to listen: Enjoy the little moments, react with patience to the never-ending questions, and worry less. Because the time really does fly by.
That’s the advice I’ll follow with my future grandkids.
Jacqueline Dowland is editor of the Copperas Cove Herald. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org|254-501-7464.