One of our writers at Orange, Tim Walker, posted this article on his blog as he reflected on his son’s first day of high school. At the beginning of another school year for all of us parents, it’s a good reminder of how quickly time passes and how to treasure those few moments we have left. Can you relate?
I heard it, but I didn’t believe it.
I thought it was something that just happened to other people.
I thought it was something that happened to people who were too sentimental, or too unappreciative of today. I was wrong.
It’s happened to me.
Today my oldest son started high school.
Class of 2015. This is 2011. Do the math.
That’s not very long.
“It goes so fast.”
“Treasure the moments.”
When I heard those phrases, I just nodded my head in agreement.
Sure there have been times when I did want it to go fast. Like when I was changing diapers all day long. Or constantly watching over him.
I couldn’t wait for my kids to become more independent.
Now i’m missing a little of that dependence.
I know these words have been written by every parent. And I know that I’m not alone by any means. And I’m not even sure how I could have treasured those moments more.
I lived them. I survived them. I pushed through them.
But “treasure”—what does that even mean? That I keep a scrapbook? I don’t have that kind of patience, or even a desire to put that much effort into one.
But I guess one person’s “treasure” is different from another.
The other day, my two younger sons wanted to play baseball. In a rare guest appearance, their older brother wanted to play too. They were thrilled. Any time with a busy, very social big brother is golden for them.
I was the designated pitcher, not because I’m good at it, but because I didn’t want to run around chasing a ball on a 100 degree day. This isn’t my first rodeo.
And while I was pitching to my oldest son, I remembered a moment years ago pitching to him with a plastic ball and bat. I remember telling him to watch the ball and moving the ball around to see if he moved his eyes in coordination.
I was doing that again on this day as well.
A warmth flooded my chest, and it had nothing to do with the hot summer day. It was a memory. A treasured one. Because it was stored away like a valuable keepsake, like gold in a treasure chest. And I remembered a fun time I had with my son.
I can’t capture a moment and hang on to it. Life moves too fast. If you’re so busy recording life, sometimes you actually forget to live it. And I can’t rest in one spot for years or I will miss out on today.
But I treasure them. I store them away. And on occasion, I pull them out and admire their beauty, their purity.
And I pray that many more will be added.
Life goes by fast. You can’t stop forever. You can only pause.
You can’t rewind and relive something in the exact same way.
But you can treasure. You can store it up.
You can remember.
Tim Walker is a husband, father of three boys, editor, writer, superhero—well, you get the idea. More of Tim’s words can be found at http://thegrayzone.wordpress.com/.