When one Olympics starts, it's hard not to think about what you were doing during the last Olympics. You remember - Beijing, 2008?
I don't remember what I did for the entire 17 day span, but I do remember one evening watching Michael Phelps from my hospital bed. I was about 35 weeks pregnant with Braden, on bedrest, and was admitted to the hospital after a minor bleed. I spent the night in angst, thinking about lung development and NICUs and steroid shots. I was discharged the next day, and I gave birth 5 weeks later, the day before my due date.
And the Olympics before that? That was Athens, 2004. I actually don't remember watching that Olympics. I was a summer associate at Skadden, living with my boyfriend (soon to be husband), with one year of law school remaining. I was too busy enjoying Manhattan to watch the Olympics.
And before that? Sydney, 2000. I remember watching that Olympics from my house in Cincinnati, while packing for my upcoming move to London, where I was going to get my Masters degree. I was scared as hell.
I feel like life is normally reflected upon in yearly increments - birthdays, anniversaries, annual holidays. But when you take the four year perspective? God, it's crazy. I suppose I wouldn't have been surprised back in 2008 if you told me that this Olympics I'd be a stay at home with two young boys. But I couldn't have imagined it. A lot has changed in four years.
Crazier than looking at myself is looking at my kids in these four year increments. Last Olympics, Braden was in utero - not yet fully developed, but almost there. Fast forward to London, 2012, and he's a walking, talking, counting, running, jumping, swimming, little boy. Not a baby, not a toddler, a little boy. In a mere four years, he has transformed.
A lot can change in four years for an adult, but for a child? Four years is the difference between reliance and self sufficience, between reciting and understanding, between tears and pride, between snuggles and hugs. With each additional four years, baby pictures become more unrecognizable and toddler memories fade. And before I know it, there will be another Olympics, and another, and then they will be driving and going off to college and I'll be old and remembering, didn't I have a blog once?
I'm excited to see my kids grow up. But when I think about the fact that they will only spend three more Olympics at home with me, I get sad. Very sad.
Three Olympics doesn't seem like that much. Three Olympics ago was packing for London. No, that doesn't seem so long ago at all.
Time is a crazy thing.