She Looks Just Right

When I take a photo like this, I know Dan is going to lean over my shoulder as I’m posting it to Instagram and say something like, “She looks way too old in this pic.” And I’m probably going to smile and say, “I know.”

I see it on your Facebook photos, too. If our kids aren’t looking too old, they’re growing to fast. “SOMEONE STOP TIME!” you type under the adorable photos of your infant with one of those clever __ months old stickers on her chest. (I got married AND had children pre-Pinterest. What a waste.)

But you know what I’ve been thinking lately? Nope, it’s all just right. This age at this speed. It’s all just right. It’s good to appreciate the brevity of life. I think that’s a smart way to live. But I wonder sometimes if we subconsciously amp ourselves up like the mice I read about once in a book. Researchers put a group of regular, healthy mice into a cage with a group of mice who were totally hopped up on amphetamines. Within minutes the normal, healthy mice were spinning and jumping and gagging just like the methed-out mice. I start feeling a bit like that when I scroll through photo after photo in my social media feeds with these kinds of comments about everything happening too fast. I start believing it is all happening too fast.

I have to remind myself that nothing actually happens sooner than it happens. And there must be a rhythm to this system of growing and changing that makes sense for our species, for our hearts. As the beautiful song from the movie About Time says, “there’s gold in them hills.” The hills of two year-olds and tweens, infants and young adults.

In the hills of third grade and eight years old, I’m going to remind myself she doesn’t look too old, she looks just right.