Every parent know that moment. It happens totally without warning. Life is moving by faster than you ever thought possible.
You are talking with your child when, suddenly, you see it. A newness. A changed plane. A slightly-less-round cheek. An expression. An ennobling higher eye brow. An infernal lengthening. A stronger jawline. You might not be able to put your finger on it, but it's there. A change in the face.
Did I see it today?
Can it be happening again? So soon?
We were sitting here in the living room laughing and having a good time when I caught it, ever so slightly, a change. Was it a new curve of his smile? Did I see another brief gesture borrowed from an ancestor? Is his face more "grown up" and less "little"?
The laughter continued, but now, with a catch in my throat.
It's there, time.
It's working on him from the inside out ever so relentlessly. Time is slowly transforming this lovely, smiling child before me into...something else.
How long will he have these meadow green eyes, gentle and smiling? The tidy, dyed hair style that suits him so. How long will those glorious round cheeks press against mine in a quick kiss? Or that chin will rest on my shoulder in a hug? How long do I have the smooth jawline, squared? And how long before his sweet vocal chords descend an octave.
Will his laughter always bubble up in a glorious staccato?
How much longer do I have for those moments when he stared deeply into my eyes for extended moments and just smiles?
Or come in close for a kiss?
How long will his first thought be "I have to show Mom!" when he sees something cool?
How long will he, guiltily, sweetly, tell me all of the secrets he hears?
How long do I have to tuck him in and listen to his plans for inventions or struggles with the day?
When will he forget to show me his ninja or gymnastics moves?
How long before something in this life crushes him under it's heel?
How long do I have?