Over the past month the rate at which Addie is growing up keeps popping into my mind. It wasn’t too long ago when I used to color on Addie’s face with markers. We used to call it drawing tigers and she loved it. We also spent time wrestling on the ground and kicking the soccer ball in the backyard. Now? None of that stuff seems to happen anymore.
Ever since Addie was born, my dad has ended almost every piece of correspondence to me with the phrase, “Spend time with your family because life goes too quickly.”
For the most part I looked at that phrase as the regrets that my dad may have had from raising my sisters and I. My dad was at work for a lot of our lives and he missed out on quite a bit. While I still think my dad probably has some regrets, I think his statement has more to do with him giving me some smart, sound advice.
Addie had Monday off from school and while I was sitting at work in the morning getting ready to start going through my daily work tasks, I started to think about how fast she was growing up all over again. Just a few minutes later I heard someone knock on my office door. The knock was done in such a way that I knew it had to be Addie. After I said, “Come in,” Addie burst through the door and gave me a big hug and immediately asked if she could spend the day with me at my office and it was exactly what I needed.
Casey was astonished at Addie’s request because Casey was going to spend the day at Costco where Addie could get pizza and free samples, but Addie insisted on staying with me at my office. We spent that morning together, and some time after lunch Casey called to see if Addie was ready to come home. I asked Addie if she wanted to go home and she said no. She wanted to stay with me until the end of the day.
As I was getting ready to walk out the door after work, Addie hung a few pictures she colored for me above my computer monitors. It reminded me that it won’t be long until Addie is too old for such things. In fact, in less than 10 years, Addie will be applying for college. In 5 years, Addie will be bothering me about when and who she can date. In 3 years or so, Addie will be begging to be allowed to wear makeup to school. And in 8 years, Addie will be begging me to buy her a car.
The future may not seem all that close when I’m contemplating the number of years, but as I look back at how fast Addie’s first 8 years have gone by, 5 years seems like it’s practically next week. The only thing I can do is follow my dad’s advice and spend time with my family before the life I have now with them is gone.
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