My eldest child just turned five (5). That also means I became a father five years ago. I’ve been repeating that to myself a few weeks now, and I still can’t grasp it fully. It’s surreal. The feeling of happiness watching her grow, the joy of being with her as she learns about the world around her, the surprise in seeing what she is now able to do and then there’s that bittersweet feeling making me ask quietly in undertone ‘why do you have to grow up so fast?’.
It has been five years but I still recall things as if they just happened last month. The hospital admission, the long wait outside the delivery room, the trembling and the anticipation. And then the first time I saw her behind the glass of the nursery room. I still can’t believe how amazing that felt. It was indescribable.
Five years went by so fast. She’s no longer an infant but a schoolgirl. She is able to do a lot of things on her own now. She can even help watch after her little sister and she’s able to get her own snacks and drinks from the kitchen whenever she’s hungry. I’m truly proud and happy about her developing independence. I’m happy for her, but, I’m scared for my self.
I’m scared of the fact that in the coming years, she’ll need us less and less. One day, she’ll be totally independent. I know that’s still a long time from today, but I don’t trust that it will feel that way when it comes. Just like how fast five years felt like right now. Specially if I used the time in between carelessly.
Realizing this, I decided I will be even more keen in spending quality time with my kids when ever and how ever I can. I will make sure any time I spend away from them is never a waste of time. I will do my best to be with them as much as I can so that in the future, I will be able to say I have spent all the time I can with them. I know though, that won’t save me from feeling sad should the day come for them to leave home. But at least, I hope, I will not have to put up with regret of being absent during the times they needed me most.