-with the blink of an eye-

with the blink of an eye 

What was I thinking…
to close my eyes and turn around?
It was just for a second, but
at a sound behind me, I glanced back and saw
My infant daughter
    (who should be lying on her blanket, contentedly sucking her fingers;
    fascinated by the shoes I’ve slipped on her feet
    -they jingle every time she kicks.)
But, amazingly,
she’s sitting upright
at the kitchen table
gracious and lovely,
reading aloud
that because of God’s great love we are not consumed
for his compassions never fail.
She barely stumbles over Lamentations’ four syllables;
the jingly shoes are gone forever;
and I’m almost scared to take my eyes off of this marvelous creation. 

As the school year is coming to a close, I’m reminded once again how short this time is with all of our children under our roof. Each year I feel a stronger urgency to savor every moment before Judah leaves home – to be intentional about making memories together as a family.

Only three more years now.

One of my deepest frustrations in life is the fact that I’m stuck on this one-way timeline, traveling at a fixed speed – which I have no control over. Sometimes I want to experience it all at once. Sometimes I want to pick and choose certain days to live over again – or walk through a little more slowly.

The first weeks with each of my babies… Their first laughs… 2-year-old Wesley, clenching his fists and gritting his teeth like a crazy man when we would tell him, “Be intense.”… Little Judah, running and laughing – so completely relaxed and perfectly happy that we came up with the phrase “unrestrained joy” that we still use to this day… Avery’s first barefoot steps in springtime grass. Every time she put a foot down, she would pick it up again as quickly as possible, trying to get away from the tickly sensation… 2-year-old Malin in her little wooden rocking chair, pulling up her shirt to nurse her baby doll while I was feeding baby Avery…

So many moments.

And they all feel like they happened just yesterday.

Probably one of the first things we were told after Judah was born was, “They grow up fast. Before you know it, he’ll be in college. Enjoy every minute.” We’ve heard statements like that over and over and over during these parenting years. I heard it again this weekend: “One minute they’re in the front yard driving little trucks in the dirt… the next minute you’re walking them down the aisle.”

Every one of those people is right. Kids grow up fast – too fast.

I wrote this back when Avery was 6, doing her first-grade Bible homework at the kitchen table. I’ve been thinking about it this week… just thought I’d share.



About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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3 Responses to -with the blink of an eye-

  1. I really savored the teen years and I felt the grief then – the loss that was to come. You are right to soak it up and to create memories. But I feel sure they will keep coming around and you’ll be seeing lots more of them even after they walk down the aisle or move on to other places.

    But go ahead and savor this time anyway.


  2. mplum3 says:

    If you and Roger would raise crap kids this wouldn’t be a problem…just a suggestion. #parentsoftheyear


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