Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The One About Feathery Bangs, a Pimply Chin, and
24 Years Gone by in a Flash

I remember my Grandma saying it, as all of her children and grandchildren kept getting older and more grown-up.

I know I've heard my Mom say it many, many times.

I've heard it from plenty of other older people in my life.

And now I seem to say it on a pretty regular basis. And I bet you do too.

It goes something like this...

"The older you get, the quicker time flies by."

As I get older (and especially as my girls get older), I totally agree with that sentence. There is something about the quantum physics of time...I'm sure it's something scientific and very provable...that makes the rate of time pass by more quickly as each year goes by.

When I was a child, I just couldn't wait for Summer to get here, and it absolutely took FOREVER to happen. And then, once it got here, Summer seemed to linger on and on, with lots of long days filled with all sorts of adventures.

The same thing was true of holidays and birthdays and vacations. They took so long to arrive and then seemed to last in a way that made it possible for me to cherish their days.

Today, time just gets here quickly...and then seems to pass by and leave just as quickly.

There is no more obvious example of this than the fact that McKenna is in the throes of her last "full time" Summer at home and is approaching her senior year of high school.

How can this possibly be? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was feeding her from a bottle, then watching "Barney" with her, then getting her ready for kindergarten, then middle school, then high school?

If her life started out at 5 miles per hour, these last few years have gone by at a rate that would promptly get me a speeding ticket...and here we are at the precipice of her adulthood.

It's truly mind-boggling.

But the other part of the equation (mind-boggling as well) is that it seems like it was just yesterday that I was a senior in high school. It seems like just yesterday that I was getting my senior portraits taken...which is what McKenna did today and, in turn, triggered this nostalgia.

I graduated from high school in 1986; which meant I had my senior pictures taken in the Summer of 1995; which means it has been twenty four years since I've had those pictures taken.

That day in that photography studio, though, is as clear to me as the sky outside today.

I remember that light blue sweater vest I wore; I remember the feathery bangs; and I remember those pesky pimples on my chin (thank goodness for primitive photo-shopping). I remember how hot it was; I remember how excited, and yet how nervous, I was.

And, in my mind, I still feel so much like that girl who was looking out into life with a joint sense of excitement and queasiness. (My body, on the other hand, just wishes she was still in the shape of that 98-pound 17-year-old.)

Remember that old song by Jim Croce? It famously stated, "If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do..."

I would never want to go back in time (I like life too much where I'm at right now), but I sure wish I could bottle time. If I could bottle it up, them maybe I could slow it down a little bit too.

Maybe then I could linger on this day a little bit longer...and then also come to grips with the fact that Delaney becomes a bona-fide teenager in two days (13!) and that Sydney will start kindergarten this next Fall.

But wait, this is quickly turning into the familiar "I can't believe how quickly time has flown by and I can't believe how my little girls are growing up" post (actually, I guess it's already gone there!).

So, instead, I will just try and wrap this up by saying something somewhat profound... that Time is fleeting, and ever moving forward, and sad, and wonderful all at the same time.

It's really what life is, after all...a constant movement of moments, and change, and evolution, and tears, and love.

I guess we gotta just accept it, whether we like it (which I often do!) or not (which is sorta how I'm feeling right now!).

And to keep myself from having to go grab a tissue and wipe the tears that are welling up just a little bit, I will go ahead and share some of the pictures I took of McKenna after the studio was done with her earlier today.

(They took the formal portrait in-studio, then let her have two changes of clothes and take two separate sets of casual pictures. When she was done with them, I promptly grabbed her and got my own set of pictures...which I just love!)

It's hard to believe how grown-up she's becoming (there, I said something sentimental again. Shoot me!)...

After getting some pictures of McKenna, everyone else (of course!) had to join in on the action...

and act a little silly (because that's what almost 13-year-olds do best)...

On that note...

here's to cherishing the day,
recalling our own youth,
and slowing down time
(even if just a little bit).


Adrienne said...

awwwwwwwwwww They ALL grow up so quickly!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh. my. goodness.

That picture of you and Sydney has to be the cutest thing.

and a wonderful post all around.


NancyJones said...

awwww honey when you slow time down.. dont forget to slow it down here in lower bama too cuz this kid i tell you she grew 3 inches taller in just a week an 4 days that she was gone. what is that about.
your girls are too gorgeous I feel for yall. what ya gonna do put barbwire up around yalls house????

Cheryl Wray said...

Adrienne--It's crazy, isn't it??

Marg--Thanks! I love that picture too; it turned out so cool!

Nancy--At Bella's age, they just change so quickly. Such a fun age, but you also just see them growing up so fast!! Yeah..we already have to keep the boys away. It's too funny! :-)

Lynilu said...

I know I'm telling you nothing you don't know, but your girls are so beautiful.

I wish, too, that time could be saved in a bottle, to be opened and smelled and touched and felt again once in a while. Wouldn't that just be wonderful?

Pictures are maybe the next best thing. Keep snapping.

Edleen said...

Wow! she's grown, she's Gorgeous! and so are all of You and your Girls :)

Stephenie said...

I may be just a teenager, but I completely agree with this post. I'm one of those rare finds. You know, the forty year old stuck in a teenager's body? Yeah. I've always acted older than I am. I remember things from when I was Sydney's age that seem so close, yet are really not at all. I remember turning thirteen. I was so happy to be "on the teenage spectrum" as I said then. And now, in just two short weeks, I'll be on the OTHER end of that spectrum. It's hard to believe I've already been out of high school for a year. It's hard to believe I'm about to enter my last year as a teenager, and it's even harder to believe that soon enough, I'll be married and starting a life of my own. Mom told me yesterday that she just can't believe how fast I've grown up, and frankly, neither can I. Life seems to be in warp speed lately. I'd love to slow things down so I'd have time to cherish my youth. Most of it has flown past I wasn't even aware of it till I took a look back on these years.

Lisa said...

Great pictures and you are right - time goes quickly!!

McKenna said...

blah blah blah, sappy sappy sappy :]