Today is my oldest daughter's 10th birthday and I can't help but think of those days right after her birth when I was dizzy from exhaustion. Those days seemed to pass with excruciating slowness. I had the mistaken perception that parenthood would slow down my life but that was an illusion induced by lack of sleep and a cocktail of hormones.
In reality, parenthood speeds by at breakneck pace. When friendly advisers said this to me I rolled my eyes at them. What did they know? My train had just taken off from the station and the wheels were barely moving. At this pace I could count every leaf on every tree I passed.
But then I lost my focus for one second and before I knew it, the parenting train was full speed ahead. My daughter turned one and then five and then I woke up this morning and she's ten years old. She's getting blackheads and breast buds and asking me questions about her friends who are starting their periods.
When she was younger she had sleepovers with friends and they would watch Disney movies and talk about Dora the explorer. This past weekend she had a sleepover and the girls talked about boys, shared cell phone numbers and sang Taylor Swift songs.
I'm starting to think all those people were right, that it really does fly by. In fact, I know they are right and it makes me sad. I don't know where ten years went and it scares me to think that the next ten could go just as fast or faster. If I could, I would freeze time and keep her this age forever. She's perfect in every way; innocent enough to still cuddle with a teddy bear at night yet grown up enough to help me do laundry. She still thinks I know everything and isn't embarrassed by me. I know that won't last forever. I can't help but be a little scared of the teen years. I worry that she will morph into, well...what I was when I was a teenager. The thought of it is terrifying.
I can't stop the clock but I can appreciate every day with her, even the hard ones. In that way, I won't stop time but I can soak in every minute.I'll have that to treasure after she slams her door in my face when I say, "there's no way you're leaving the house with that much make up on."
Here is a collage I made of her birthdays. Happy Birthday Laila!