How does it happen so quickly? Just a few short memories ago, Andy was a big-eyed four-year old showing me his favorite red truck. In an hour, he’ll arrive with a new show-and-tell: a fiance named Nichelle. I don’t remember watching him cross the line from child to adult … but here he is.
Just a few short memories ago, Zac was a wide-eyed six-year old standing on my sister’s front lawn, alternating gawks between a controlled burn on a long-gone house, and the firemen handling all those flames. I remember with heart-hurting clarity the impassioned look on his freckled face when he turned and announced, “I’m going to be a fireman, Mom.”
As I type this, Zac is home from his first attempt to get into the firefighter academy. He passed the written; passed the physical with flying colors (he actually had the best time in three of the events), and looked the part when he headed out for his oral exam. His appointment — apparently — was at 1420 (military time), but in the translation, he’d written down 2:40. That means this attempt is over.
He loosened his tie and sat in the doorway of my office to tell me his news. Those long legs (did I mention he’s 6’2″ now?) filled the doorway and spilled out into the hall. He’s disappointed, naturally, and embarrassed about the mix-up. But he put the right spin on things. “It must have happened for a reason. I’ll just try again next year.”
Next year will be here before you can say, “Watch me grow.” Andy and Nichelle will be married. The puppy at my feet will be bigger. Tera will be taller. Zac’s legs will likely be longer, and I’ll be ironing that dress shirt for round two.
Oh, Lord, help me capture these minutes and memories.
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Update: Andy and Nichelle now have a sweet boy, Uriah. Zac is leaving Sunday for 3 months on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea. And the little feet in the picture at the top of this post? They belong to my beautiful 14-month old grandson, Gage. They run him from one of us to the other; they chase after the cat, or the dog, or his Auntie, when she’s playing “see if you can catch me.” And one day — long before any of us are ready for it — they’ll walk him down his own independent path, to a waiting world. A gentle word to my lovely daughter-in-law, Brittney (and young mothers everywhere): the minutes slip away quickly. Look long at that little face, and kiss those chubby fingers, and hold your memories close.