Time is funny. It’s supposedly consistent with each minute only being 60 seconds long, but it rarely feels that way. Sometimes it forces you to count the seconds, other times it hurtles and you can barely hang on, and sometimes it just slips peacefully by. Even in retrospect, the days that seemed like years and the months that flew by too quickly all get rammed together becoming timeless. Moments both long and short run into each other. Nine long months of pregnancy are instantly overshadowed by two hours of labor and just as quickly passed by mere moments of looking into a newborn’s eyes. The memory, whether of misery or ecstasy, is still there, but the duration suddenly becomes irrelevant the very second it passes by.
I look at my husband sitting next to me on our porch swing and simultaneously think I can’t believe we’ve been together for six years, it’s only been six years? My no longer little siblings are all growing up. Dating, going to college, getting married and generally turning out to be really great people. I’m a parent, my parents are grandparents, and my grandparents are great grandparents. One single event, a matter of seconds, pushed all of us back a generation.
When I tell my little boy his “Binky went bye-bye” and he doesn’t beg for it, I feel surprised that I’m the one who’s close to tears. Suddenly, he’s not my baby anymore. For two years his cries in the night had me counting the seconds to keep from losing my temper, wondering if I would ever sleep again. Now that his nighttime wakings are less frequent, I find myself hugging him tighter and lingering in his bedroom longer than I used to.
Ellen has started to roll over to get to things she wants. She’s grabbing at toys and almost wrestled a Popsicle out of my hand and into her mouth the other day. With Cooper, I was always urging him to tackle the next developmental feat, but he always seemed too content with where he was and did things on his own schedule. Now I look at Ellen and think, Baby Girl, slow down. Don’t grow up so fast. Then when she spits up all over me I think Geez, this stage can’t pass fast enough.
I anticipate some day I’m going to wake up and be surprised to find that I am old. I just hope that I can look back and say I made the most of the time that I was given.