She Looks Just Right

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.

9 Replies to “She Looks Just Right”

  1. Well, you certainly knew we needed this perspective change with this particular picture. If you can believe in “a rhythm that makes sense to our hearts” when the glorious girl on the pony is your baby, then I shall stop spinning in my cage, too.

    Grandma will be proud.

  2. Mom just sent me here to read this, because she wanted to talk about birthday plans for my days-away-from-turning-16-year-old. That was a very good move on her part. THIS IS BRILLIANT. We have *got* to stop amping each other up with our crazy emotional meth. “They grow too fast” in my opinion is the new cussing. We say it because we don’t have any better words. This post gives us such better words.

  3. I like this post but maybe for the opposite reason than most people. When people see my girls and comment that I should “enjoy it because they grow so quickly,” I have to hold myself back from saying, “Do you want to come over when my 4 month old is screaming and my 2 year old is having a tantrum?” Then I’ll be the one to say “enjoy it” as I’m walking out the door leaving you with the girls. 🙂

    I guess it’s all about perspective. The days seem to creep along now, but it probably won’t seem like that forever. Like you said, they’re just right for today. Although I did see a pretty cool chart (I think on the website FiveThirtyEight.) that explained why time seems to go by slower when you’re youunger and quicker when you’re older. When you’re 5, 1 year is 25% of your life, but it’s only 1% of your life when you’re 100. (I think I got that right.)

    Anyway I’ll stop rambling. Thanks for the reminder. When my days feel much longer than 24 hours, I’ll think of this post. 🙂

    1. Actually, 1 year is 20% of your life at 5, not 25%. Oops. I can’t find the chart, and I’m not good at explaining time (and math, for that matter), but it was a cool way of looking at time and how our perspective of time changes over time. 🙂

    2. Right, that’s kind of the beauty – time only SEEMS to lengthen or shorten depending on our situation. It helps to see the perspective.

      And I love the percentage of your life analogy. That totally makes sense!

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