And then one day you sit back and take a good look.. A really close, long, slow look. And you think to yourself, "Where did you come from? How did I miss these little changes that brought you here?"
I had one of those moments this past weekend with the Teen. It all started with a picture.
Each boy has an 8x10 frame on the mantle. And in those frames are a series of school pictures, one stacked on top of the other. I consider it an efficient use of storage space. But it's also a time machine.
This weekend I had a new picture to add to the Teen's frame. His high school graduation picture. (Don't even get me started on how just typing those words affects me!) When I opened the frame, the earliest picture still stored there was from 6th grade. Elementary school. He was every bit the little boy in that picture. Eleven years old. Soft features. His self conscious close-mouthed smile. I compared it to his grad photo, and it was hard to believe or remember how that little boy became this handsome young man.
There is no child left in his face. This strong, confident face with the open-mouthed smile. This face that is getting ready to go out and take on the real world.
We're proud of him. And amazed. And filled with both melancholy and excitement. Time passes so quickly. Remember to cherish every moment.