A friend of mine that I worked with a decade ago posted a photo of his oldest kid on Facebook today, and it occurred to me that she looked so... big. I commented that, "Our little humans don't stay little very long." He replied, "It's a bittersweet process if there ever was one." Another mutual coworker from that time responded, "I believe that our children are our clocks." That perfectly puts into words what I think every time I see a photo of Simon from even a few years ago. He'll never be that chubby little person again.
I think this is one of the reasons I've been somewhat anxious about aging in a way that I never have before. Simon is the only child we'll ever have, and he's almost as close to being a legal adult as he is to his birth date. The time has gone quickly, and it's not going to slow down. That might be why I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a good parent, because it doesn't seem like there's much time to course correct.
Our late start certainly makes it feel more urgent. Late 30's is a late time to get into parenthood, and inevitably I compare to friends that are quite literally grandparents now. My adult reboot is effectively 12 years in progress, which simultaneously feels like a lot of time and not that much.
But back to the kid... he'll never be this again. He'll never be younger again, either. It seems like every year brings different kinds of joy, different kinds of pain and unexpected challenges. The thing to keep in mind is that so far we have this epic series of memories, and we continue to emphasize those experiences. I try to keep that as my focus, and enjoy my time with the little man. There is more joy, pain and love to come.