I often hear parents of older children say something like "It goes so fast. One day you're holding an infant, and the next day you're teaching your kid how to drive." More often than not they're simply remarking in wonder how unexpectedly swift life goes by, but just about as often, there's a tinge of regret in those statements. "If only I'd focused on the things that matter, I wouldn't have missed so much..."
I think I've been blessed. The pace of things has increased -- radically -- in the 2.5 years or so MTB has been in business. I don't think I've had a good night's sleep in at least three years. My list of responsibilities is loooong, and the necessary things I must do to keep us fed, clothed and housed would have turned my hair white just five years ago. (If I hadn't eased into it gradually, this thing would have killed me). Maybe that's what makes the little moments with Judie and the kids so memorable. No, I won't remember every little thing -- I have horrible recall -- but I'm not going to look back and regret not being around. It is this way and couldn't have been any other way. And so, when I'm able to set the chaos aside for a little bit, I know I'm in a Moment.
Me and Joe had one of those little Moments yesterday. We were walking away from the car in the Safeway parking lot. "Take my hand, little man?" I said. "Okay, Daddy," he replied. And just like that, this tiny little hand grabbed half of my comparatively huge hand. At once I remembered the tiny little creature who the doctor delivered to my arms 2.5 years ago. This is my son, I realized. My son, my little man, me-and-not-me. I looked down into his face, but he was looking intently to the west. "The moooon, Dadddy!" The infant was gone, and the little kid was there, but I could also see the 15-year-old. I couldn't see the adult yet, not quite, but I knew that these hand-holding days would be coming to a close much sooner than I'd like. It was a Moment.
I'm blessed because I realize these things right now, not in some not-too-distant future full of regret. There's cannon smoke all around us, but in the midst of the chaos, there's peace and more love than I could have imagined.