Time. We measure it in seconds, minutes, hours, days, years… and so in theory, all time should be equal. Except of course it’s not.
How can Friday afternoons at work take so very long to drag by, and yet you can lose nearly five years in the blink of an eye?!
That is, of course, what I’m sure many parents are also asking themselves as they sew (or, if they’re like me, iron!) the last few name labels onto brand new, tiny-sized school uniforms and try and steel themselves not to sob at the school gates along with all the other newbie parents.
Cliché though it sounds, it really does just feel like moments ago that we were bringing our first, tiny newborn home from the hospital – at 5mph, me sat in the back anxious that even going round corners would jolt him around too much – and then arriving back into our painstakingly prepared house desperate for him to wake up so that we could dance attendance on this little new person we had created together.
You can’t imagine how each special new memory wouldn’t hardwire itself into your conscience to be immediately recalled and enjoyed anew – but as those first days turn into weeks, months and then years; and as more children come along, time seems to blur into one long haze of family life with it’s happiness and it’s challenges – and wonder at how tiny these little people once were.
We are just a few days away now from our next big chapter – school for Rory (nearly five) and nursery for Tho
mas (three) and, of course the rapidly approaching arrival of our next little one – and, as I kneel next to their beds each night and cuddle them as they sleep, I try and imprint the sight and feel of my little boys on my memory – so grown up to me at the moment, but so tiny in comparison of how big they are yet to grow.
It’s easy to look back longingly at those early days – before time sped up and was whisked into the chaos of busy family life – but the truth is, of course, that it’s all precious. Perhaps not as momentous as watching your child take it’s first few steps – or their look of surprise as they are lowered into the bath for the first time. But I hope I wont ever forget their ecstatic, overwhelmed faces as they clambered up for a ride on a Combine Harvester last week , whizzing down the lane on a little tractor– or even the sounds of them playing building sites (each digger has a different voice!) in the sandpit on a warm, apple-scented early Autumn afternoon. Those were the days, I’ll think. These are the days. All of them precious.