I’m sitting here in my office working on bills as if it were any other Saturday even though a seismic shift occurred in my world less than 24 hours ago. Because life does, in fact, go on.
Twenty-two-and-a-half years ago, give or take, we welcomed our third child. This was our second baby in just over a year, and we brought him home to a 2.5 bedroom apartment and placed him in the cradle by our bed, which we hadn’t even bothered to put away between babies.
We named this 12 lb. bundle of joy Richard Theodore because I’d always wanted a boy I could call Teddy, and the name suited him well as he grew from big baby to roly-poly toddler who filled out 4T rompers by the time he was a year old.
Teddy was my baby for six years. I developed extremely toned biceps from toting around my 75 lb. four-year-old. He was none too pleased about the arrival of his baby brother, but he was in kindergarten by then and already building a reputation as the smart, academic achiever that he would continue to be all the way through college.
You know the rest of the story. The days are long but the years are short and all that.
Teddy (or to use his preferred name, Theo) graduated from college in May. Yesterday I dropped him off at the airport. Now he’s in San Francisco, where he’ll start his first professional job on Monday.
Right now I feel like posting a comment on every baby picture I see on Facebook saying enjoy them while you can they grow so fast but that’s not a thing that anyone really understands or wants to hear when their kids are fretful infants or whining toddlers or stubborn preschoolers. I’ve read many a thread and post complaining about the meddlesome old ladies who say those kinds of things. But here’s the deal: we aren’t trying to be bossy or irritating or to minimize the work and stress of coping with small children–we just want you to realize what we didn’t; we want you to fully experience the joy of what you have, because we would give anything just to have one more day of it.
Because twenty-two-and-a-half years ago I brought a baby boy home from the hospital.
And just like that, he was gone.