frosted hairSo today is my daughter’s birthday. I can hardly believe that a mere fifteen years ago I held her tiny newborn form in my arms. She had a full head of frosted hair—dark brown waves with blonde tips. She was awake and alert, more alert than I was, and was doing more advanced things than the nurses thought possible.

She never stopped amazing me, then or now.

Sure, she was particularly clingy when she was a baby, preferring to be in my arms rather than anywhere else (not that I minded—usually). And now she’s fiercely independent and I don’t see her often enough.

I suppose all parents find themselves in this very position. When their children are babies, they feel complete exhaustion—and complete joy—and see years of their future stretched out in front of them. Then, before they know what’s happened, those years are gone.

Where did they go? When did crawling and toddling turn into gymnastics and dance? Loose teeth and pigtails become makeup and curls? Learning to read become learning to drive?

I blinked, and she was grown.

I’m afraid to blink again. She’ll probably be married and moved out.

Another blink, and I’ll be holding a grandchild with frosted hair.

Time is a funny thing. It’s the greatest joke of our lives. When we’re young, we have far too much of it, and it passes far too slowly. Everything takes forever, and our milestones seem far in the distance. We can’t wait until we’re ten (double digits), thirteen (an official teenager), sixteen (driver’s license), eighteen (an adult), twenty-one (officially legal), and then something happens.

We get a job. Maybe get families of our own. Time has sped up. We’ve hit twenty-five. Somewhere between a third and a quarter of our lives are gone. That clock? It ticks louder. And faster. And we don’t know how that happened. Not too long ago we didn’t even hear it, and now it’s become a nagging sound, kind of like a fly we can’t swat away.

By the time our kids are growing (or grown) and we’re evaluating our careers, possibly facing our last career choices in life, that clock is loud, no longer an annoyance, but a painful reality. And our kids are moving on, beginning to hear the buzzing.

By the time the clock is an obnoxious reality, we have grandchildren, maybe great-grandchildren, who can’t wait to start reaching milestones of their own. And we’d give anything to slow things down, just to watch them reach a few more of them.

Time is a funny thing, indeed.

Sam 15Yes, fifteen years ago, the nurses put a squirming bundle in my arms, and I knew I was holding something special, something miraculous. Someone who would touch my life and enrich the world in so many ways.

I wasn’t wrong.

My daughter is an amazing person, and she’s made my world better every day she’s been a part of it. Happiest Birthday, my darling daughter.

For Writers:

We often get caught up in the lives of our major characters. We forget that our minor characters are there, not just as filler, but as vehicles to advance the plot. That means that we can use a combination of young children and older, wiser adults to enrich your plot. These characters, and their perception of the passage of time, can be used as plot devices.

For Everyone:

We’re celebrating today. It doesn’t matter how fast our clocks are ticking, it’s a good day in our house. We try to celebrate life every day, but today is extra special. Favorite meal, favorite cake, and of course, gifts. Do you celebrate birthdays in a special way? Do you make every day a special day? Let’s talk about celebrations.


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  4. Happy Birthday wishes to your stunning daughter. They do grow up much to quickly, don’t they. I used to bake a cake the previous day and we ate birthday cake for breakfast on all of our birthdays.
    Lovely writing.

    • Thanks, Patricia.

      Birthday cake for breakfast? Sounds delightful. I could definitely see me getting behind that tradition. We’re having yet another party for my daughter today (family has come to town), so I believe there might be leftover cake for me tomorrow. That and a cup of coffee will hit the spot!

  5. Wishing a happy birthday to your beautiful daughter. My mother always told me the older we get, the faster time goes. I found that hard to believe, but its true. My husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary this weekend and in many ways, it seems like only yesterday that we were married.


    • I hope you had a wonderful anniversary, Joan. The traditional gift is pearls… hopefully you got a strand, or even better, a tropical island vacation where you could pretend to look for your own (but really just dig your toes in the sand and relax). Time goes by too fast. We should enjoy it while we can, right? Hopefully I’ll hear about some wonderful anniversary trip in your next blog post. I’ve been enjoying the photos and stories of all your trips.

  6. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter Staci. This was a timely post as this very afternoon my two young things wanted to watch their baby video’s. Talk about laugh and wonder where that time has gone? They both said that as babies they were ugly and all I could see was a passage of time now vanished and two beautiful babies now growing up.

    • My husband always said all babies are ugly. Then we had ours, and he said they were beautiful. I can’t believe we had the only two beautiful babies in the history of time. I think he was finally able to see the beauty in the wonder of it all. This year we had our first great-niece. Great-niece! A whole new generation already! Time really does fly by, doesn’t it? We need to cling to those photos and videos. They don’t stay that way nearly long enough.

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