When the tears and time come too quickly

Daryn and youngest daughter at Howard University

I spoke too fast.

     Maybe I was simply defensive.

     Husband was so sure the answer was, “Yes.” I wouldn’t be surprised to discover the family was placing bets on the “when?”

     The question was simple.

     “Did you cry?”

     Who, me?

I resemble that reputation

Me, who has the reputation in this family of being the crier?

     Especially at the milestones.

     Like the time I cried when I took our daughters to get their first passports when they were 10 and 11.

     Right there in the post office, signing the forms.

     “You’re crying here?” they were appalled.

     I explained that I knew it would be about two minutes before they were in college using these passports to backpack their way through Europe.

     “It goes so fast,” I told them that day as I wiped away the tears.

Fast forward to now

     And so, it was this week, about two minutes later in parenting time, that I found myself flying up to Washington, D.C. with our youngest daughter.

     After a year and a half at home due to the pandemic, we had a single day to move her into her first apartment for her senior year.

     It was a sprint.

     6 am flight up together.

     8 pm flight home alone.

     In between, we crammed in trips to Target, Marshalls, and Walmart. We assembled her bed and dresser and filled her refrigerator and cabinets with food.  This week, at least, I know she’ll eat well.

The requisite trip to Walmart to stock up on food and supplies for daughter's first apartment.
The requisite trip to Walmart to stock up on food and supplies for daughter’s first apartment.

     I shared the accomplishments of the day with Husband as I arrived back at the airport.

     He only had one question.

     “Did you cry?”

     “Didn’t even think about it,” I immediately reported, somewhat proudly. “I didn’t have a moment. We were so focused and busy.”

And then….

     I spoke too fast.

     As I stood in the security line, I spotted a young family featuring an overwhelmed mother and father with two little kids. The girl looked about three, the boy about one. The kids were appropriately tired and cranky and they were all about mom, both of them insisting on being carried and clinging to her like gum on her shoe.

     That mother and I locked eyes as they passed by me in the snaking line.

     “I promise it goes really fast,” I said, trying to offer comfort, one mom to another.

     “When? When does it go fast?” she asked, looking back at me with spent, exhausted eyes.

     The way the line snaked around I didn’t get a chance to answer her. Instead, I was alone with thoughts in my head. How I was so right that day in the post office. Was that 10 years ago or 10 seconds?

Of course, the inevitable

At first, I chuckled.

And then, darn it. Then, the involuntary tears started. First a drip, then an all-out waterworks.

Have you tried doing the blubbering-in-public thing with a mask on, Dear Reader?

I don’t recommend it.

It’s not like I had a choice.

Heartfelt tears are like the quick passage of time.

There is no defense.

It all just comes way too fast.

While you’re here…

If you like this story, you might enjoy my book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



When the tears and time come too quickly

by Daryn time to read: 3 min