When I was a kid and I used to go to work with my Dad, I could never figure out why the family pictures in his office were at least 10 years out of date.
In addition to the horror of having to see a desk picture of yourself in kindergarten or 1st grade when you’re an uber-cool pre-teen, part of me started to wonder “Does he realize I’m not actually 5 years old anymore?”
Fast forward about 35 years or so to last weekend when my (almost) 14 year old son accompanied me on a Saturday office trip.
After eyeballing my vintage Bob Dylan poster for a while: “Who’s that guy with the guitar, Dad?”, and marveling at my small but impressive collection of Pittsburgh Steeler memorabilia: “Can I have all this stuff, Dad?”, Evan fixed on a small blue frame with 2 black and white pictures in it.
One picture was of a little blonde haired two year old boy standing in a green backyard, wearing a gigantic grin and a baseball glove the size of his head.
Evan said, “That’s me, right Dad?”
I said, “You got it, pal.”
On the other side of the picture frame was that same blonde haired little boy, laying on his back next to a dimply baby girl who couldn’t have been more than 6 months old.
Evan said, “I know that’s me, but is the baby Lily or Jo Jo?”
I said, “That’s Lily when she was a baby.”
So my son looked at the picture again somewhat quizzically and said, “But where’s Jo Jo?”
I said, “Well, she wasn’t born yet.”
After staring silently at the picture again for a few minutes Evan said, “It’s a nice picture, Dad, but we don’t really look like that anymore. And Jo Jo would probably be mad that she’s not in this one.”
And in that one statement of fact from the mouth of an 11 year old boy, I suddenly realized that my desk pictures were probably out of date for the very same reason my Dad’s were 35 years ago.
Being a parent means coming to the realization that no matter what you do, time keeps marching right along.
But if we’re smart, we surround ourselves with daily reminders that we gotta be really really careful not to miss it.