When I had my daughter, everyone told me how quickly the time would pass—that I should “cherish every moment,” whatever that meant. Indeed, she’s now on the brink of turning 5. Although some moments have felt like they’d last forever—usually the less-than-pleasant ones—I can only assume that some sort of time warp has propelled us forward unnaturally quickly through the years of her life.
What I didn’t expect, however, is that in my mind, I’m still sitting on the rooftop patio of that place downtown that has the amazing view. I’m not paying much attention to the view, though, because I’m listening to my friend across the table tell a hilarious story about a date he went on last night. It’s warm outside, I’m in a sundress, and it’s years before I’d have the amazing child who I love more than life itself.
What’s true, though, is that while life is whizzing by in the whirlwind that is parenting, a part of me is still sitting on that rooftop with him; and in a myriad of other places with other friends I hold dear. Friends I love. Friends I will always love. I’ve simply paused those moments, ready to return to them whenever the universe boomerangs me back there in my mind or otherwise.
Although she’s years away from rooftop patios, I wish my daughter friendships like these. I never thought much about my kid’s friendships as they relate to how I parent her today, yet I can see how the importance of authentic connection and respect are already influencing her social choices. Just like I want them to be for her someday, my friendships are much of what ground me; what connect me; what help me rediscover myself when I need to—no matter how infrequently I see these non-familial objects of my affection. Just like I cherish every moment with my sweet girl, I also cherish those experiences to which I can return in a mental snapshot. Time really can stand still in the very best ways.