A to Z Challenge: T is for Time


Our kids have the capacity to amaze us, don’t they?

CD az challengeToday for the A to Z Challenge, T is for Time. It’s like we wind them up as babies, and spend the rest of the time watching them go. Just imagine how things will be around the dinner table as they get older and begin to explore the world around them. Time starts ticking and it won’t ever stop.

CD loyalist Janine Huldie wrote earlier this year a post titled Happy Lily Surprise.

She rightfully gushed about the surprises her daughter has bestowed upon her in a few happy years on earth. If you’re an aspiring parent who can’t shoulder/stomach/manage surprise by the dumpsterful … You might reconsider.

Here are a handful of surprises each of my girls flung on me in 17 years of fatherhood.

Elise and the obstacle course


Elise and I visited an inflatable obstacle course in the parking lot of a Tallahassee Publix. “I wanna go, daddy,” my 4-year-old girl said. Back then, I let her do almost anything. Almost.

Elise waited her turn, then climbed up the ramp and disappeared into the bouncy beyond.

I waited forever.

Kids who went in after Elise bounced out the back. I could see her chubby fingers crest the final wall, then a foot … only to see her tumble back. I worried that she’d get hurt, or at least discouraged. Until I saw her face make it over – and the huge smile. Even when she fell back a couple more times.

“I didn’t give up, daddy,” she said. Thirteen years later, she still doesn’t.

Marie and the sports camp


Marie at age 4 wasn’t the sporty slick girl you see before you today. Back then, dresses and tiaras were the thing. I took a middle school girls team I coached to a sports camp at Davidson College. Elise and Marie tagged along. The day included pizza and a basketball game – and an all-sports camp.

Marie didn’t want to camp. At all.

I took her to the field and left her with friendly co-eds who showed her how to hold a lacrosse stick. With her attention diverted, I snuck to the stands to watch. Not until I reached a perch at about the 50 yard line did Marie notice I’d ditched her. I could read the snarl from a mile away!

Each time she changed stations, she sought me out and glared on her way there. Ten years later, Marie still conveys just how she feels to me, often without a word.

Grace and the comedy show


I don’t know where she got it – Grace has this penchant for the goofy. She’s had it since she was a baby. Despite societal pleas to keep it under control, Grace unabashedly embraced the gift. She delighted in having her older sisters home from school with her for the day – but neither sister was a great playmate.

Both were sick.

Grace dragged out a low-riding pink rocking horse to the middle of the living room. She rocked back and forth, her sisters unaware of the show about to start. The rocks became more severe, until Grace toppled over the handles and onto the floor. About 17 times.

Her sisters giggled and forgot about fevers for a bit. Seven years later, she’s still daddy’s clown princess.

Our kids have the capacity to amaze us, don’t they?

Time starts ticking and it won’t ever stop.

time quote


30 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: T is for Time

  1. I wish I had written down more of the sweet surprises over the years. Time has diminished my powers of recollection. Thanks for sharing these beautiful stories!

  2. From gurgling child to angry teen,
    then solemn man who hasn’t seen
    a day come round without the pain
    a life still lived, yet not in vain.
    He wakes each day
    and asks, ‘Shall I stay?’
    Yet time moves on
    and I know that he’ll be gone,
    long before me. Time?
    If only I could hold back time.

    1. Thanks Kerri – I hate that it’s four days later that I could thank you. This is the downfall of this challenge – the time it takes! (a weekend out-of-town tournament also doesn’t help!)

  3. I thought T was for Tamara!
    That said, those great photos and stories make me think I was initially wrong.

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