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With a new baby fourteen years after his first child was born, Jake Frost ponders what he's learned about wishing away the present moment.

In the past year, my oldest daughter started high school, and my youngest daughter was born!  

It’s been an interesting year. 

To have a new baby in the house again after almost a decade since our last has been quite the experience. 

For one, it brings back a lot of memories I didn’t even know I had. So many things with the new baby takes me right back to those first days with our first child. 

Like walking the new baby to sleep at night. Suddenly I feel like I’m back in that little apartment where we started out fourteen years ago, pacing the same route between the front window to the back patio doors over and over again, with the moonlight streaming in.  

And then in walks that little baby girl as she is today: a teenager—taking driver’s ed!—getting herself a midnight snack from the fridge.  

It’s like living in two time zones, only instead of a few hours apart, they’re a decade apart. I’m not living in Eastern and Central; it’s more like Now and Then.  

I also laugh to remember how, back Then, I thought things would be Now. More than once I pined for the time when they would all be in school, how easy it was going to be Then! I was going to have so much free time Then! 





Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work that way.  

The nature of the parenting shifts, but the parenting remains. 

There might be less holding and walking, less stroller pushing, but there’s more driving, way more time spent on clothes and getting out the door on time, more time spent setting volleyballs for hitting practice, pitching baseballs for batting practice, and so on.  

There’s less talking and telling and more listening. 

And the time will come when you wish they could all spend the whole day together in the backyard again! 

But along the way there are joys also.  

Be warned, though, grab them while you can! Just as the nature of parenting is always changing, the joys are, too. You can’t put them on a shelf to reach for at your convenience; by Then they’ll be gone.  

I’m lucky to get another crack at them. 




Click to tweet:
This time around I want to soak up the joys while they’re here and not wish away Now for dreams of Then. #CatholicMom


This time around I want to soak up the joys while they’re here and not wish away Now for dreams of Then (that won’t be what I expect, anyway). 

Lou Holtz said in a famous locker-room speech at halftime: “You’ve got thirty minutes to play and a lifetime to remember.” 

The same goes for parenting.  

It’s going to be hard work. That’s just part of the vocation. 

But there will be joys to appreciate with each stage of the journey.  

And if we can embrace each step along the way, giving each our best, we’ll have a lifetime to cherish what we’re creating Now. 



Copyright 2024 Jake Frost
Images: Canva