That’s my message to new mothers and fathers.
You think it’ll all unfold slowly, like a roll of wet paper towels. You think time stretches out, like a stiff runner’s legs before a lengthy nap.
Well, it doesn’t.
Earlier tonight the wife and I saw our daughter Casey off for the high school winter formal. She is a freshman, only 14 and new to the phenomenon. Yet as I watch her, I see more woman and less girl. I see someone who wants friend time more than daddy time. I see someone who doesn’t particularly care any longer for cartoons, for princess dresses, for Disney movies and tuck-ins at bedtime.
If you’re new to this, you can’t possibly understand. You think you do, but you don’t. The sleepless nights, the diaper explosions, the tantrums—they suggest the slow tick, tick, ticking of a clock stuck in quicksand. Trust me—that’s mere illusion.
Your daughter is four months old.
Now she’s 14.