You notice it one day–the garage is full. Of strollers no longer used–first the single, then the double and the jogger. The chair you and your spouse spent so many wee hours of the morning in, rocking the baby back to sleep in. There is the balance bike. Then the first one with pedals. It’s next to the trailer you used to strap them in and tow them behind your bike.
The garage is a graveyard of outgrown toys and furniture, accessories and activities they’ll never do again. It’s a graveyard owned by people who will never be again–never be four years or four months old again, never need training wheels again, never need to be carried in a stroller again.
We can miss it as it’s happening–because we’re too busy, because we’re looking for what’s coming next. We can grieve it, deny it, or hold on to the physical stuff forever. But this only denies the present moment by clinging to the past.
What counts is now. The only thing that isn’t sad is now. The only way to make it last longer is to lock into the now. To take the extra time now instead of rushing through it, instead of prioritizing other stuff over it.