The little guy was getting a bath the other night when my wife asked me to run into his room and fetch a pair of pajamas for him.
Up to his room I went and into the dresser to find something comfy enough for the night, but not so heavy that he’d be overheated. We’ve had some really fluctuating temperatures the past several weeks.
That’s when I suddenly stopped and took notice at the sight beside me. In the mirror on the wall next to his dresser, there was someone looking back at me. The light was a little dimmer than normal, as I had only turned on the small table lamp in his room, but along with that half-lit face, was tints of gray in the (i’m sad to admit) receding hair that sat atop his head. The light accentuated the bags and wear under the eyes and he looked…older.
I stood there for quite a few minutes. Not out of vanity, but out of reflection, and a hint of sadness.
How could this be? Was I not just bouncing around the halls of high school? Wait. No. That was 16-19 years ago. Surely, it was just a little while ago that I was pulling all-nighters to film low-budget movies while studying screenwriting in college, right? Wow. No, that was over ten years ago already. And that plucky young journalist transitioning from a newspaper to broadcasting, that wasn’t that far away, right? It was. It was eight years ago. The guy who leaned over the seats of the theatre and asked Meg out on our first date during a play rehearsal? More than five years ago.
I gazed onward at this figure in the mirror before me, wondering where he came from, what caused him to be. When did it all happen, I wondered, and why is it only in this moment that I’m noticing? I stand before the bathroom sink everyday without a flinch. But somehow, in this moment, in this room and in this light, it was like staring into time and having another version of yourself staring back.
A reminder, I suppose, that no matter how much your life may change, still do everything to make it the time of your life, because it will go by in a blink if you let it.
5 thoughts on “Who is that looking back at me?”
Well said…and taken to heart. One is never to old (in my case) to think about the ‘blink’ part.
Thank you! It made me realize how often I may say or think that I hope a phase passes, or that I can’t wait to do x, y, or z with him when he’s older, but it’s those little moments when I realize those desires only mean the faster time will fly. Wish I could put a parachute on the whole thing and just slow things down a bit, for him and me! 🙂
It is crazy, isn’t it? I’ve been reflecting a lot lately and looking at how I got on this track and it seems so strange. I still feel like that immature kid laughing in high school, but I know I’ve aged a lot. Trying to grab life by the horns but it’s not always easy. Amazing how life and kids can both wear you down and pick you up.
Totally crazy. I love the way you phrase that too. They both wear you down and pick you up. They make you want to conquer the world, but maybe after a quick nap. 🙂
That is so so true. Time is just flying by and here it’s already May!! It’ll be Xmas again before you know it.