"It goes fast."
Except for unsolicited parenting advice, "It goes fast" is the most common thing you hear as a new parent. You nod and smile politely, as you both look down into the stroller, because this person in the grocery aisle obviously doesn't remember the sleepless nights, the way the days can seem to drag on - one endless blur of diaper changes, screaming, feedings, spit up, clothes changes, nap struggles, clothes washing, dishes, bath time, and drawn out negotiations at bedtime.
But now that my babies are five and two, I'm beginning to believe them.
Time carries us ever onward, and the days pass by, faster and a faster. Suddenly, that little baby of yours is crawling, walking, running, climbing trees, riding a trike, a bike with training wheels, and then those come off and you let go and, like that, they're off.
Life is still a blur, but I remember the moments.
I remember the first night my daughter and I slept in her playhouse. She was three, with a little purple sleeping bag of her own. I laid out mine next to hers and settled in, but it was summer and the sun was still up. So we talked, just her and I, for what must have been an hour. She began to rub her eyes and eventually she put her arm across my chest and said, "Let's snuggle." I remember laying there, under the glow of her fairy lights, listening to her breathe as she fell asleep.
We have our kids for such a short amount of time before the world rushes in and I sometimes wonder what I'll remember when I look back on this time. I know there's a lot I will forget. But I can tell you this: I'll remember laying there as the sky dimmed outside her playhouse's windows, thinking how lucky I was to be her dad.
It goes fast.
If you don't step out from the blur of the daily routine it will. So leave the dishes for another day, tonight. The laundry can wait. Who cares if every toy isn't put away? Because you're daughter is asking you to sleep out with her in her playhouse, and if you say 'yes' you'll remember tonight. Yes, time will still rush on like a river, but like stones in its channel, those magical memories with your children will be there to carry you back - back to a time when they were little, fairies were real, you were their Dada.