When I was 6 years old, I was handsome.
Okay, so I peaked at the age of 6 and it has been downhill in terms of appearance ever since. But obviously I didn't know it back then. Because back then, all I thought about was wanting to be 7.
And now as I am on the cusp of 37, I wonder what my hurry was in wanting to grow up as quickly as I could. I know now that time is indeed fleeting. Case in point - my three monkies.
Last Sunday morning, I spent some one-to-one time with Ale while the 2 boys were off for their classes. We had breakfast together and for every morsel that she stuffed into her mouth, she demanded that I give it a good blow first so as to ensure that the food didn't scald her tongue. I did it quite willingly for the first few times and gradually became irritated by her constant bugging subsequently.
Then it struck me.
Her 2 older brothers never let me do this for them anymore. In fact, they might even feel utterly embarassed if they were ever caught having their parents fussing over them like this in public. If there is a more clichéd statement than "They grow up so fast", I don't know what it is.
So it made me pause and take a step back.
My monkies are getting bigger, older and learning new things every single day. And there is nothing that I can do to slow it down.
Everywhere that I turn nowadays, it seems that I get the dreaded reminder of just how big the kids are getting. It could be an old tee that my oldest son used to wear to bed when he was 3 years old, an old photo that popped up whilst I was reminiscing through my blog, or chancing upon a toy which hasn't been played with in years with batteries that are leaking.
The thing is, I can't tell how much they are growing every day though. I can never see it until I stumble onto one of those old memories. And that is usually the moment that I realize they are babies no more. Heck, they aren't even toddlers anymore. They have grown out of a lot of their things, as much as I wished they hadn’t.
Needless to say, I'm in no particular hurry for Ale to outgrow her diapers. The boys, to be sure, are growing up nicely, and while I'm excited for them to hit all the milestones from the mortifying school streaming to National Service, I'm in no rush. For now, I think I shall be grateful that Ale is giving me the chance to be her chief food-cooler because I already dread the day when I will look back at her photos wistfully.
So... what makes Papa cry?
Today it was a 6-12 months romper that I had found shoved in the back of the cupboard.
I know at the back of my mind, that it will never be worn again. And it is a painful reminder. Why does everything have to get old? It really sucks.
At the same time though, I am also reminded of the fact that we sometimes spend too much of the present anxious to reach the future and when we finally do get there, we wonder where all the time gone to.
So on second thought, maybe the reminder is good for me. After all, Papa needs a little cry every now and then.
This article first appeared on www.maybebaby.sg/blog/, as part of my regular monthly contrubution to the website.