The Years Go Fast but the Days Go Slow {poem}

My 5-year-old started school this week. It’s a bittersweet day for parents! The toddler pictured here is my firstborn, who’s now 7 years old. Below is a poem I wrote on his first day of school (as I bawled my eyes out) two years ago.
* dummy = pacifier, nappy = diaper, cot = crib


At home,
where Cheerios and Lego abound,
toys are strewn around
then packed away –
relentless mess, day after day.

Grizzles and tears
and night-time fears
and snails as pets
and dinnertime tests:
“Try it, come on! Just one bite.”
Maybe next time… One day he might…

Can’t wait till this phase is over!
I sigh
then look at the clock as time ticks by
So slowly.
One hour till their bedtime
then much-needed headspace.
Ugh, I can’t wait…

At home,
with cuddles and giggles galore
and precious heart-squeezing joy,
each Christmas and birthday
bring anticipation
of new celebrations
with our baby boy.

And wave after wave of
milestones keep coming,
punctuating our weeks:
first steps, first words,
first wee in the potty.
Yes, no more dummy!
Now undies, not nappies
and big beds, not cots.

It never stops –
even when I wish it could.

The clock ticks,
the web page refreshes.
Oh, to enjoy these years so precious!
These dizzying years,
so tedious
and joyous.

At school,
it’s his first day.
My big-boy baby clings
as his class walks away…
I let him go
and I smile and wave,
helping him to be brave.
When he’s out of sight
I turn and weep;
a knot of joy and grief
from deep inside
drifts silently down my cheeks.
The unravelling knot
echoes an adage I know:
‘The years go fast
but the days go slow.’

– Kristy Johnston, 2016


Lord, we admit that our kids drive us nuts some days, but they really are such precious gifts from you. What an awesome responsibility you’ve entrusted to us, to nurture these little people! Please teach us to number our days — to view our everyday lives within the wider perspective of eternity. Please give us patience, endurance and wisdom. Help us to bring them up in a way that honours you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“Teach us to number our days, that we might gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

Photo, poem & message ©️ Fruitful Today


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