I am fascinated by the paradox of time, how an event can simultaneously seem to have happened just yesterday and yet in what must have been a previous century. Things like a visit to some exotic destination or a child’s first day of school. Somehow we think “Didn’t this just happen?” and “Wasn’t that ages ago?”
Perhaps it’s the vividness of the event that makes it seem so recent and that we’ve gone through so many other things since then that makes it seem lost in some distant history. Whatever the perspectives, perplexions and possible explanations, I experienced it again this week.
It’s been just over two years since I first met Tristan and Katie’s first son. Ty was only a few days old when I visited them, held his tiny form and reveled in their delight as well as my own. The wonder of first birth on the faces of the parents is as joyous to me as is the baby. Their marvel at the gifting of this blended new life is like the grip of tiny fingers or the blinking of infant eyes.
Just over two years yet some days it seems like two decades that must have happened last week. Ty has grown so much, Katie has spent a year in a new job she loves and Tristan has built a new deck and most recently finished up a new bathroom and bedroom in what used to be their garage. And just over two weeks ago, Katie birthed a second son.
I held Parker for a while Tuesday evening, an event apparently of greater pleasure for me than for him. He squirmed a bit and started crying. My whistling seemed to surprise him. He quietened and focused on my face for a moment or two. I kept him cradled in my hands and kept whistling softly. I knew this quietness wouldn’t last long but also knew Katie would rescue me when the squirming and crying started up again.
It’s been fourteen years since I met Tristan at Highland Community College, three years since I joined him and Katie together in holy matrimony underneath a tree in a back yard on a summer day. Life’s ways are deep and mysterious, profound and powerful. Our celebrations of its great moments accent its best bonds but those bonds are truly strengthened in those paradoxes when something as mundane as a two-year-old spilling Gatorade on the couch joins with introducing a newborn to an old friend.