Her father crossed the sidewalk toward his car, a middle aged man with gray hair dressed in business casual. I was half a block away struggling through the final quarter mile of my morning jog. Would have forgotten him within the minute if I hadn’t seen her. She trailed behind him trudging slowly down her driveway. I recognized her immediately by her loud and mismatched knee socks, chunky boots, colorful skirt and shirt, hell she had worked wire through her pigtails so they stood out a la Pippi Longstocking.
My heart constricted painfully. I looked at her, stared really, and I saw my boys in a few short years. As I passed her by I wondered who T and C will become. At the same moment tears sprang to my eyes because their childhood is already going too fast I also felt excitement. I cannot wait to know who they will be as sixteen year olds. I cannot wait to have long discussions with them and attempt to see the world through their eyes.
My mind drifted to the gray haired Dad. Was she driving him crazy? Did he love having a teenager? Did they talk about real stuff or just grunt at each other across the kitchen table?
Then it hit me. I looked at the girl and for the first time in my life I didn’t see myself, the me that I was just five minutes ago, I swear it was only five minutes. I looked at her and saw my children.
Only took 20 years.
These two boys. How can it be going so slow and so fast at the same time? How can it be painful and exhilarating and boring and frustrating and amazing all at once?
This morning marked three months since my exercise adventure has begun. I celebrated in style by hitting the mile mark in under 10 minutes, 9:44 to be exact. I’ve struggled with this goal for over a month and was starting to believe it would never happen. Thank god for Queen and The Postal Service for helping to push me when I really wanted to slow down. Still scared shitless about the race on Sunday, but I’m feeling mighty proud of myself right now.