False Truths: “They grow up so fast.”

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series False Truths

family snapshotsOn Facebook the other day, a friend posted some photos of his son in his prom tuxedo, very handsome in a red bow tie and cummerbund, with the proud mother fussing over him. That prom photo is one of the required rites of spring, it seems, and we’ll see lots of similar poses from friends with children that age over the next few weeks.

And in another of the required rites, one of the top comments will be something along the lines of “They grow up so fast!”

But do they really? This week, we’re talking about some false truths, axioms that sometimes aren’t as true as they seem.

And “they grow up so fast” is one of them.

One reason we shoot those pictures of our children in their tuxes and formal gowns is because those days are so memorable, like the first day of school and other milestones.

And even for the most devoted uncles and aunts and friends of the family, the gaps between those photos can be pretty large, giving the impression that these kids were riding trikes yesterday and are driving away tonight.

But there are thousands of days and nights between those photos, thousands of diapers, permission slips, piano lessons, dental bills and dirty dishes.

In a completely different context, Abraham Lincoln said “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

That might be the best thing about parenting, too, that children don’t grow up very fast, but one day at a time.

What “False Truths” do you wish we re-thought?

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  1. debbie valencia says

    I recall as an overwhelmed and tired parent having this said to me by admiring aunts and godparents who stopped by my house…and thinking for me is seems a very slow repetitive routine that could use a faster pace. I definitely would have been better with a one day a time “wonder” attitude! Now 24 years hence, looking back on the lives of my now adult children I marvel how, it went by so fast! As we filter and preserve the best in a condensed version and thus in our reckoning of time, it went by so fast. Indeed though in the eons of time of Earth it has been short. Acknowledging the one day at a time of children growing up, and the nurturing parents bestow day to day is lovely encouragement o greet the new tired exhausted parents.

  2. Debra Darvick says

    Early on someone told me “The days drag and the years fly.” That about summed it up for me. Having just walked my son to the chuppah, the years do fly. In a nano second we went from his first steps to the mother/son dance at his wedding. They grow up so fast is not a false truth at all but a truth from the time-warp known as parenthood. I never wished one stage away (well I could have done with less of the age of 15 and more sleep early on). But I really tried to relish each stage of my kids lives. Even now. And maybe grandparenthood is in the not too distant future so I can report on that time warp as well….

  3. IDS says

    Thanks, Terry, for reminding us that the future comes one day at a time. It’s both comforting and alarming. In one way, life is telling us to get a move on, but in another, it’s telling us to slow down, appreciate the now and maybe not worry so much.

  4. Dan Rubin says

    My kids are (almost) 10 and 7 years old, so I’m not quite to the point of looking back and seeing how quickly they’ve grown. Having said that, I agree with Debra’s reference to days dragging and years flying by. Our days seem to be filled with endless scheduling and taxiing to hockey practice, swim practice, art lessons, and playdates–yet every now and then it hits us how “grown up” our kids are. Perhaps it’s the music that they’re suddenly into, or the firm grasp they suddenly have of a school subject, that jolts us into realizing that some changes have seemed to occur overnight. One way I sometimes measure how far they’ve come is to look at my kids through the eyes of my Mom, who passed away about four years ago. When she died, my kids were in kindergarten and preschool, one was still in diapers, and they were miles away from doing algebra and playing hockey. In four short years, I’m sure she’d recognize and be very proud of them, but lots has changed.

    I’d suggest that if we harness it right, we can really enjoy the days dragging and the years flying by–by knowing that one day we’ll long to take them on one more taxi ride to swim practice, yet we can look back with pride when “all of a sudden” we’re walking them down the aisle.

  5. Dan Mulhern says

    Terry, maybe they’re not false truths but half truths.as a child I remember thinking that my parents are kind of weird when they talked about how old they were getting, how fast time with moving, etcetera. As a child I wanted it to move faster, to be an adult. Now I get it!

  6. Rick Reid says

    The expressions, “Stop and smell the roses”, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present” and “carpe diem” come immediately to mind. Yet do we take the time to cherish the individual moments that are “life” or are we stuck in a perpetual state of always looking forward, striving for what’s next but really not living in the moment? As the Title character in the movie “Ferris Beuller day off” once said, “life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it”.