As I was reading bedtime books to Linnea tonight—a favorite part of her rather elaborate nightly routine—I was struck right between the eyes by the clock of life. On the inside covers of A Gift-Bear for the King were illegible letters of the alphabet, squiggly hearts, and stick figures that lack bodies. Linnea saw the drawings and shouted, “I did that, Mommy!” In truth, I did that. More than thirty years ago (gulp).
Lately, it seems as though I am constantly stunned by the passage of time. “What?” I think, “It’s going to be March next week?” Or, “Seriously? I’m going to be 35?” Recently, my mother-in-law brought over a $25 savings bond that someone had bought for Josh in 1977, presumably for his first birthday. Now it sits perched by our front door in its patriotic envelope—navy blue with fireworks and the words “A Share in America”—waiting to be taken to the bank or wherever you redeem such things.
Parenthood certainly punctuates the warp-speed nature of life. Going over my mental to-do list today, I realized that not only does Linus need to have his nine-month well child visit, but I also need to schedule a three-year appointment for Linnea. Her birthday is in a couple weeks, and it’s hard to imagine that three years have already passed since that slushy grey day when I met the delightful nymph who regularly looks at me and says in earnest, “You’re my favorite mommy.”
Whether I like it or not, time is slipping through my fingers, and I constantly ask myself whether I’m doing what I can. Am I crawling around on the rug enough with the kids? Am I being the best version of me I can be? Am I remembering to lock eyes with my love every day? No matter how quickly the days and months succeed one another, there are always moments to relish. The key is to recognize their beauty in real time, to breathe slowly and let the sounds and images of the people I love fill my chest to its brim.
If I can remember to stop and do this regularly, the passage of time becomes less alarming, for I am doing it—I am really living.
I Want to Know
- Do you obsess about the passage of time like I do?
- How do you remind yourself to be present in the moment?
If you enjoy reading memoirs, you should pop over to my other blog, Divorced Before 30, to enter for a chance to win a copy of Deborah Feldman’s new bestseller, Unorthodox.