A SNAP in Time

This season's cold snap had us scrambling for our coats and layers of warm clothes. They were all the clothes we had pulled out of drawers in November, only to have the temperatures rise back up to the eighties, making us look for T-shirts and shorts again.

Now as I wrestle with Mireya to convince her that short sleeves summer dresses are simply not an option, I'm struck by another snap.

They're growing up on me. This is despite my efforts to freeze them in place, to dip them in amber, and keep everything exactly as it is right now.

One day we're working our way through the alphabet song then SNAP, she's writing a note to Grammy ("eye" am going to open the door) and hanging it in the window.

One day I'm coaching my daughter on handling the school yard conflicts and SNAP, she's telling me about standing up to the bossy kid.

One day I'm trying to explain why we have to take clothes that don't fit out of the drawer then SNAP, she doesn't sneak over and pull them all back out of the bag. She accepts my explanation like a reasonable person, making me wonder she's been switched with another child while I was in the kitchen.

One day I'm lifting her on the counter and SNAP, she's figured out how to use the drawers as a ladder, requiring me to find a new hiding spot for the cookies.

We're walking through this new season, a change of season I know will come over and over again, and so many things will never happen again. They'll blow away in the cold front, disappearing in the bright blue sky of memory.

Memories like my daughter painting her entire arm red when I was on the phone for five seconds.

Memories like hearing a crash upstairs, followed quickly by the shout "I didn't do it!"

Faster than I'm prepared for, they're dashing out the door, scarves fluttering in the cold, taller than I remembered. I can put on my coat to handle the change in weather, but what do I do to get ready for their next SNAP?

So I take a hundred digital pictures and million mental ones. Pictures to keep me warm for the day they SNAP into adulthood before I can find their mittens. Mittens they won't wear because they have their driving gloves on instead.