Last year, three little kidlets lined up in front of the Christmas tree. Daryn, almost three, was more than happy to hold his sister's hand. Ethan on the other hand, was much less willing. He was our baby and had just turned one the month before. All he wanted to do was run away and get into trouble. (Ok, so he still has the same desires.)
This year, Cherith cycled through several "glamorous" poses (while Mom just tried to catch a more normal one). Ethan jerked his head back and forth looking to Daryn, then Cherith, then Faith, then Mommy, then Daddy... all while making loud and annoying noises. Daryn got the job of holding the baby's hand this year, one which he took on with pride. You'd think since we had a baby last year, then a baby this year would mean a propped up baby in a bouncy seat, but nope... we've got a stander. Granted, she sat down several times in the time lapse of 15 seconds, but stand she did.
During the photo shoot, I was just focused on hitting the shutter release as the perfect time when all four kids were standing in the right spot, looking in my general direction with fairly normal expressions. But now, comparing the photo with last year's, I'm just amazed. How can children change so much in 12 short months? How can a family go from two preschoolers and a baby to one kindergartner, two preschoolers, and one baby in so short a time? How did Faith get to be such a big girl when she wasn't even more than 6 or 7 in. long last year? How did my sweet, fun loving preschool daughter become such an incredibly smart and quirky girl? And Dayrn, whose vocabulary was full of mispronunciations, now such an imaginative and quick witted story teller? Ethan was just a baby last year. Now he seems like he's 3, going on 6, although he's only just turned 2.
It's a reminder to me that my children's childhoods are passing faster than I think. I don't have as long as I thought to make their childhood joyful and peaceful. I don't have as long as I thought to water their little hearts with God's Word and His love. I don't have as long as I thought to show them just how important they are to me.
I better get busy.