“The days are long and the years are short.”
Never have I heard a phrase that more accurately sums up life in the child-rearing stage. I first heard it when my oldest was a baby, and I felt like I was caught in a never-ending cycle of diaper changes, nursing sessions, and naps. But then I would wake up, it seemed, and she would be a year older. Lather, rinse, repeat. I almost have no idea how it happened.
That’s why, when we see things like Dutch artist’s Frans Hofmeester’s time-lapse videos of his kids, we want to cry our eyes out.
Hofmeester filmed his two children, Lotte and Vince, every week of their lives, and compiled the clips into a longer video that shows them growing up throughout the years, right before your eyes.
Hofmeester first went viral back in 2012 when his video of Lotte found its way onto everyone’s screens. He placed her in front of a white backdrop, which made all of the changes she was going through much more visible. Talking to the camera, we see her going from bald, chubby little baby to lovely young adolescent. It’s astounding.
It caught on, too, and not just with families. Sprint actually purchased the video to use in a commercial!
“When Lotte was born, she was changing at such a rapid pace, and I was desperate to keep the memories intact,” Hofmeester wrote in an essay for The Guardian after gaining fame. “As any parent knows, the difference between a child at two days old and two months old is startling.”
It is, indeed.
The latest installment of “Portrait of Lotte” takes her into adulthood, and we were not prepared. Not only does her appearance change, but her mannerisms, style, and emotions evolve, too.
What a beautiful keepsake for this father to have of his children. I’m sure there were many times Lotte and Vince were annoyed to be in front of the camera with their dad, week after week, but having such solid documentation of their development is a rare gift.
Maybe we’ll be able to watch these videos at some point without choking up, but today is definitely not that day! Hug your babies, cherish your big kids, and celebrate their growing and your ability to walk with them through all of the change. It is truly something to be grateful for.
Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.