Eight years ago today, my wife wakes me in the wee hours of the morning to tell me she is going into labor with our first born and that her water had broken two hours prior, but all is well. She knew I needed my sleep and had already called the hospital. The hospital, in turn, had said for her to come in at 7:30 AM or “when your body tells you to” if your body tells you earlier.
And, before we head to Martha Jefferson Hospital, my wife requests I stop by McDonald’s to get a breakfast combo.
“Are you allowed to eat?” I asked.
“No, the breakfast combo is for you,” she said. “You’re in a mood when you’re hungry and it’s going to be a long couple of hours ahead.”
“Are you sure there’s enough time? I’d rather get you to the hospital than me a breakfast sandwich and hash browns. I do love their croissants though.”
She insisted. I complied.
6:30 AM: We stop by McDonald’s. I pull up to the drive-through window and order a breakfast sandwich, two hash browns, and a large Coke.
“$4.29. First window please.”
I pay. Onward to window two.
It’s taking longer than usual to fill the order. I’m a very patient person, probably too patient in my day to day life (they say patience is a virtue), but I want to say, “Can you guys please hurry it up? Just this one time. It’s an emergency. My wife is in labor. I need my breakfast sandwich, two hash browns, and large Coke STAT!”
A few hours later, my daughter Annabelle is born. At home, my father-in-law sits with my dog waiting for the Roto Rooter guy who is scheduled to replace our downstairs toilet which is on the fritz.
A few days later, we bring our daughter home. Our dog Motzie greets her at the door. In the mail is a Congratulations on the birth of your baby card from Roto Rooter.
A few months later, my wife returns to work and our daughter begins daycare.
A few years later, she welcomes her little brother into the world and becomes a big sister.
She starts taking ballet.
Learns to swim.
Climbs her first mountain and sees the valley below.
Learns to read.
Makes new friends.
Starts first grade.
Finishes first grade.
Starts second grade.
Signs up for soccer.
Sometimes yesterday is just yesterday.
Sometimes yesterday is eight years ago.
There’s a saying, “They grow up so fast.”
There’s another: “Blink, and they are all grown up.”
“I can’t wait to drive a car,” my daughter said the other day.
“When you get married, do you have to move out of your house?” she asked another day. “I don’t want to move out of our house. I want to stay right here.”
“I want to climb Mt. Everest one day.”
As cliche as those sayings may be, they are both so true.
Slow down, time.