From The Storyteller
August 13, 2018, Distance
Visitor: What’s the distance between Lubbock and Dallas? Texan: Little over 5 hours. She is less than two weeks old, and diaper duty is my parenting task. While breastfeeding is not part of the new dad thing, diaper duty certainly is. This is one of those rare life skills nobody tells you about. The need for the skill ends when potty training is completed. My distance between starting and ending this task was measured in months. I have been told others have measured that distance in years.
Markings on the inside of a closet door with dates is a visual measuring of a distance that tells the story of a child growing up, without saying a word. At first she is totally unconcerned with being measured and months pass between the markings with dates. After the first few markings however, she begins to want the marks more often, and the distance between them shrinks to weeks and sometimes even days. Years later the distance measured between marks still tells her growing up story, again without words.
The distance between the first day of kindergarten and graduation from high school also is measured in several ways. At times it is measured by years, and at other times months, weeks, and even days. While the years slipped by in a blur, there were times when the weeks and days felt like years. Measuring distances here required bunches of love, lots of patience, and on occasion the ability to hold my tongue.
Following high school, distance was measured by things like college, work, weddings, and babies. From diaper duty to grandparent; wow, time sure flies when you’re having fun.
New Parent: How long before they grow up? Old Guy Me: In the blink of an eye.
Moral: Distance can be measured in many ways because it’s always personal.