With new babies entering the clan like crazy, I am reminded how quickly children go from 1 month old to grown-up and gone. It doesn't seem all that long ago when my boys were little guys playing with Ninja Turtles, Transformers and pet mice. Now, all are in the 25-30 range and are adult men.
My daughter is 14 going on 22. Boys are not a forbidden topic, lots of mother-daughter trips to the store and she is permantly grafted to her Android. Daddy's little girl is now a young woman and the 'jump into my arms when I came home from work' moments are no longer here.
Time spent with her is dwindling and accordingly, is very precious to me. I love the retired thing that allows me to drive her to school, pick her up from school and cart her back and forth to ballet practice. Even when I have to turn around and go back home to pick up her homework she left on the kitchen counter after I mentioned it far too many times...has a silver lining to it. It is the last vestigages of bonding a parent has before they turn 18 and head off to college. There will be another version after they are adults, but it is more like friends and not so much Daddy fixing things for his little girl and being the main man in her life.
I am thankful for the opportunity for extra time and the vision to appreciate it.