Saturday, July 19, 2008
At first I hesitated about using such a common cliche as the title for this post. After all, just about everyone says, "Time flies when you're having fun!" But I've noticed something slightly different. Time flies no matter what.
It's truly amazing, actually, the times that time flies. Time flies when you're raising kids. Time flies when you're on the phone. Time flies when you're watching TV. Time flies when your in your husband's embrace. It flies when you're eating, cutting the grass, working, sleeping, and exercising. It even flies when you're crying, hurting, recovering, or laughing. Time has flown while I've neglected this blog of mine. Time has the brazen audacity to fly when you're aging!
This past week has given me several opportunities to reflect on this topic. Little things keep popping up that make me stop and think about how much time has gone by and how very quickly it has done so.
Just two days ago I was going through some pictures my Mother-In-Law recently dropped off. Included were photos of my girls dressed for their ballet recital, wearing make-up. My girls are only 6 & 8 years old so the regular use of make-up is still a long way off... or so I thought.
As I looked longer at their pretty, made-up faces I realized I was seeing a glimpse of the future. I was seeing the more mature faces of lovely, young ladies who will turn the heads of young men in the not-so-distant future. I was seeing the forms of girls from which the rolls of baby fat have melted away, which have paused only briefly at this pre-teenage silhouette of childhood, and will soon continue their journey on toward womanhood.
To add to the wonder of seeing my daughters in this light, yesterday I was re-introduced to the daughters of a close friend whom I haven't seen in six years. Her daughters are now 10 & 7 years old instead of the 4 & 1 year(s) they had lived when last I saw them. I was amazed the very second I saw her oldest as my memory of her 4-year-old self collided with the sight of her now.
It's only logical that she would be so much older, so much bigger, but for some reason that lies below my consciousness I had pulled into the driveway expecting to see the little girls I remembered. As soon as I recovered from my shock it occurred to me that seeing my children would undoubtedly cause my friend the same surprise. And that, like me, she would probably marvel for a moment at the flight of time that had taken place.
Somehow during our visit we moved to the topic of supervising our children's outside play. We both lamented the fact that we find it necessary to physically be with our children whenever they play in the front yard. Because we are busy mothers this necessity greatly limits our children's play options. Gone, it seems, are the days in which we were reared; the days of walking a mile to a gas station for an ice cream sandwich, or riding our bikes far beyond our own streets, of just making sure we were home by the time the streetlights came on.
But it wasn't even very long ago... was it? Apparently the last 25 years of my life have also been loaded onto that stealthy jet-plane called TIME.
Even our visit was sped away in the jet stream as our 6 hours together was crammed into an experience that felt like 90 minutes-tops!
While my 3 younger children and I were whisked through time yesterday my oldest child attended a teen-pool-party given by the president of the home school group to which we belong. He's actually still twelve but will be 13 this Fall and the invitation was for members 12 & older.
The moment I saw the email invitation I was taken aback. Teen? Surely not! Am I old enough to be the mother of a teen? I have only recently recovered from his graduation from the children's ministry at church to the youth ministry. In fact, I still grapple with the realizations brought on by the sight of the pretty, young girls who also attend this youth ministry. The pretty girls that will soon catch his eye. The pretty girls whose eyes he will catch. So far I've not noticed any particular spark of interest on his part. But I'm grounded enough in reality to know that it's only a matter of quickly moving time... (after all, he's about as good-looking as they come;-)
I could go on & on with examples but I'm convinced that you already get my point. I have no doubt that you have your own examples on which to reflect.
As I'm writing this post my husband makes the valid point that time doesn't seem to fly during the tough times. He's right. If anything, it feels as though time is not just walking, but dragging its feet during times of suffering or hardship. It's true. We've all experienced it. While we are uncomfortable time seems dreadfully slow, but only until things change.
What do I mean? I'll explain.
I can't say this is true for everyone (although I suspect it may be). After things get easier, after we've had time to recuperate, and after we've been able to put some distance between ourselves and our troubles... it seems that even those tough times moved quickly. I can think back to the most difficult times in my life and, though I recall how long it seemed to take, I can now more accurately place them in proper perspective in the timeline of my life.
My conclusion... time ALWAYS flies.
May we be wise enough and resourceful enough to make the most of it.
...and that's my $0.02...