Daddy Daughter Days
With Angela out of town on a business trip, I had the three kids to myself, solo-parenting for 3 full days. While the boys are in school, Ella gets to stay home with me for our "Daddy Daughter Days" which usually means she just shadows me while I cook or shop or edit photos. And by "shadow", I mean she literally stands in the place where otherwise my shadow would go. There are also, a disproportionate amount of ridiculous candy requests, responses by tickles and/or hugs. Daddy Daughter Days are the best.
On one of our grocery runs, I was lifting her into the shopping cart kiddy seat, and it occurred to me that these days with her being so small, are very much limited. Much more limited than you want to realize. In a way, that is the story of parenthood, you blink, and they've grown and you don't know where the time has gone. Almost every parent that talk to at weddings, gives me this advice - "to appreciate the moments you have now, they're gone in a flash and suddenly they're getting married". This is the same advice I give to new parents when I photograph them and their days old babies.
This kind of pre-nostalgic wonder used to make me sad and feel a little lost - like you're always trying to grasp at moments that have just been. It doesn't anymore. Because while I do miss those quiet moments when she was a baby, and, while I'm also intensely excited about the tenacious and willful young woman she is becoming, this little girl who climbs on my up back while I'm on editing photos in Lightroom is pretty well perfect right now. The pendulum of parenthood always seems to swing wildly from living in the past and reaching for the future, but when you get these quiet-step-back-and-breathe kind of moments where you are present in the "right now", it's a duty to enjoy them to our fullest capacity.
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