My grandson Miles lay in my arms, eyes shut tight, lost in a world of newborn dreams. With the free hand that didn't play host to a snoozing baby, I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, reading post after post from parents painfully parting ways with their college-bound teens.
As I looked down at the two-week old miracle so content in my arms, my heart ached for so many of my friends who had driven home that day from universities across the country without their "babies" in the backseat of the car. At that moment, a worn out cliche came to mind ….they really do grow up in the blink of an eye.
My grandson's mommy, Jessica, the daughter who entered my life as a teen when I said "I do" to her dad (my husband Bob), has embarked on that remarkable journey called motherhood, a journey I began on July 1, 1997 when I held my firstborn (and Jessica's baby sister) Melissa in my arms.
On that miraculous day when I looked at my baby girl for the very first time, I simply didn't know.
I didn't know about playdates and preschool and dollies and Disney Princesses.
I didn't know that I'd cherish pushing my cherub on the playground swings and reading her books each night before bed.
I didn't know about tricycles and trips to the beach and Thanksgiving visits to grandma and grandpa.
I didn't know that she'd break out in scary hives when her fever topped 100 degrees, or that her annual appointments with the pediatrician would be followed by ice cream to soothe her tears.
I didn't know about countless hours watching her play in the tub with naked barbie dolls, or countless hours spent untangling her long brown hair while she snuggled in my lap.
I didn't know I'd be shedding tears as she boarded the bus for first grade, or that the tears would still flow as the bus whisked her off to high school.
I didn't know she'd take up the flute in 5th grade or that she'd start playing guitar soon after. I didn't know she'd have a singing voice like an angel and that chorus concerts and school shows would become an intricate part of her world.
I didn't know she'd be elected as president of her youth group, or how beautiful she would look at her junior prom. I didn't know that my baby would drive a car, hold down a job, and start filling out college applications the summer before her senior year.
Yes, next year at this time, the mother posting those tearful college farewell photos will be me.
All of those years ago when I held Melissa for the very first time, I didn't know that my heart would succumb to such powerful love….and that there would come a time when I would have to say goodbye.
I simply didn't know.
Today, I look at my grandson, Miles, with quite a different perspective.
Because now I do know.
I know that his mommy Jessica and his daddy Brian will mark every milestone in their young son's life with all of the fascination and wonder that all new parents deserve.
They don't know now, but so soon will learn that their unbelievably happiness at earning the title of parents will only grow stronger as Miles enters each phase of his life.
Because the span of 18 years that today seems like forever will indeed pass….in the blink of an eye.
Lisa Weinstein is a South Jersey mom who blogs about parenting a teen, coping with middle age and celebrating nearly two decades of marriage. This post was adapted from her blog, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein.