I don't know what's causing it, but I (Richard) often wake up in the morning lately with some crazy song or another going through my mind.

I can't tell if they are from my dreams or just where they come from, but one morning I'll wake up with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in my head; and the next day it will be "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" or "Oh My Darling, Clementime."

For a while, I tried to tell Linda that I thought the songs meant I was dreaming about her every night, but then I woke up one morning humming "She's got a pair of hips, just like two battleships" from an old song called "That's Where My Money Goes" — and you who've met her know that does not describe Linda. (Well, maybe the money part.)

Anyway, just the other day, the song I woke up humming was "Turn Around and They're Gone," referring, of course, to our children.

And that one really got me thinking. Wow, do they grow up fast! I think about that phenomenon particularly at this time of year. Christmases roll around so quickly. Where did their childhood go? Where are those little kids who believed in Santa? How are they growing up so fast?

Sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words, and in this case, two pictures may be worth 10,000 words. We got up on a limb in Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City for a family picture once (and it doesn't seem like that long ago), and here is what we looked like (right).

Then last year at our son's wedding in New York City, we got up on another limb, in Central Park, and sat in the same order, and here is what it looked like (below). Honestly, I stare at these two pictures, and I cannot understand where the time between them went!

We love our children now, but we long for them then! Time flies. Years pass. It is shocking to realize that if we live to a normal age, and if a child lives with us for an average of 18 years before he or she heads out into the world, we will have that child with us for only about a fourth or a fifth of our lifetime. 

Turn around and they're gone! And the thing is, we will still have our jobs and our businesses and our golf games and our church callings, but the kids will be gone.

So here is a suggestion for your new year's resolution: PRIORITIZE THOSE KIDS because you are going to turn around and they are going to be gone, and it may be a while before you get them all up on the same limb again.