My wife often says "I wish the kids would never grow up; I wish they'd stay this age forever". I'm paraphrasing, but the sentiment is that time is flying by and she wishes that she could remember them at this age as vividly in twenty years, as she does now.
Twenty years from now I'll miss Peter's squeaky, testosterone-less professions of undying love or Matthew's full lipped kisses every time we part, for more than a few minutes. Its hard to imagine that there won't be a time when we don't have to carry the boys from our bed to their bed, half asleep, stumbling over toys and shoes in the dark. But I differ from my wife. I can't wait for the next age. I relish every minute of whats happening in my kids life now, but am just as excited for the next big thing. I can't wait for the day Matt can walk to school by himself. I will jump for joy when Pete can pour his own bowl of cereal, eat it without making a mess and put his bowl in the sink.
My cousin Sue's daughter Meagan passed away six years ago. For the past four years the family has put on a golf tournament in her memory. They raise anywhere from $3000 to $4000 per outing and the proceeds go toward research on childhood leukemia, which was what cause her death. She unknowingly had the disease and she died suddenly; the details are too heart wrenching for words. She was three when she passed and each year at the tournament there are pictures of her displayed at the check in, on buttons or on fliers advertising the tournament. Everyone who attends the tournament is getting older, greyer, taller, skinnier, balder, but there is Meagan, as cute as ever, never aging, forever young, smiling a mischievous smile, frozen in time. I had a brother who died at 1 1/2 months old. We have few pictures of him, but it's the same; he'll always be an infant(read here).
Close your eyes and think about the following people: your mother, your best friend from childhood, your first boyfriend/girlfriend, your spouse...what image do you see? We usually revert either back to our earliest memories of that person or the last time you saw that person. Either way, its an image that's frozen in time, a snapshot that's indelibly marked in your memory. What will my snapshot be of my boys? Will it be the day they were born. The day Matt played in his first baseball game? The day of Pete's dance recital? A day of the two of them at the beach or skating in the backyard? Or will it be them as teenagers or young men or middle aged men playing with their kids.
Will I miss the view of Peter coming out of the bedroom with his shirt on backwards smiling proudly that he dressed himself? Will I long for the days that Matt wants nothing more than to cuddle into the crook of my arm while watching the Red Sox? Of course. But I am grateful that we can add to the "snapshots". I look forward to what pictures we can add to the photo album.