It’s common for parents to say so but, honestly, it doesn’t seem like just yesterday. It’s far more like another lifetime ago.
I now have girls zooming around the neighborhood on electric scooters, working diligently with wires and circuit boards as they deconstruct old stereos, and wearing whatever comes just before training bras. The days of diapers, changing pads and mushy peas are a distant, sepia-toned memory buried somewhere on a hard drive.
My early days of being a dad and those special first Father’s Days I experienced — a time when pastel-tinted hand prints, slobbery kisses and chubby crayon scribbles were more valuable than any mass-produced greeting card was or ever will be — will undoubtedly get foggier in my mind as the years pass. But they will never be 100 percent forgotten. Especially not when I keep that artwork push-pinned around my office and those framed handprints close by in my bedroom.
It’s funny to think back to those times when I wouldn’t leave the house without at least one spare diaper and a slim pack of wipes wedged into my favorite, tattered cargo shorts. Now, my kids run out of the house in front of me and I’m only focused on remembering my keys before I shut the door behind us. Their independence is nothing short of a parenting miracle.
But there are days, few and far between I’ll admit, when I long to be hovering over a squeaky li’l babe to change a diaper and make googly faces and noises at her while her chunky short stack arms push forward ten pudgy fingers trying to grab my eyeglasses and hook my mouth.
Oh, man — those giggles and smiles. Those were beautiful moments.
A version of this first appeared on Out with the Kids.