My dad was working in Korea when my first child, his first grandson, was born. He was finally able to meet him when we all converged in Minneapolis to celebrate the wedding of my brother and sister-in-law.
All weekend long, as soon as my dad would spot us, he would scoop his grandchild from my arms into his own.
“You look tired,” he’d say, “I’ll hold the baby for you.” Or: “He must be really heavy for you. Let me take him.”
Because I can be astonishingly dense, the first time I said, “I’m OK, Dad. I can hold him.”
“Nah,” he said gruffly, “You need a rest. I better hold him for you.”
No one else got a chance to hold the baby that weekend…
The words “I love you” have never once fallen from my father’s lips, but that weekend I heard those unspoken words when he gazed upon his grandson and said wistfully, “You won’t believe it, but in the blink of an eye, he’ll be grown up and out the door and you won’t even know how it happened.”
Here’s that baby fourteen Novembers ago…
I blinked and this happened:
Today my son was wearing a t-shirt my husband used to wear when I first met him. Today we measured him, and the boy who, I swear, was a baby only yesterday, is now 6 feet tall!
Oh, Time, our greatest friend and foe! May I remember that every minute of this precious life, even in the most challenging of times, is a gift of immeasurable value. May I not squander the days that I have with these beloved children under my own roof. And when they eventually do go out that door, may they fly back home now and then to my loving arms.