Never Enough Time

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I’m a little bitter that our annual transition to daylight savings time coincides with spring break this year.  If I’m going to have an hour stolen from my life, why can’t it be during a staff meeting at work rather than a precious week when my parents are visiting?  Our time with them is so rare that I couldn’t help but feel resentful as I adjusted the household clocks this morning.  I want my hour back!!

It also got me thinking about time, and what a twisted and strange beast it can be.  Sometimes dragging and other times fleeting, but always out of our control.

I find myself wanting to slow it down more and more these days, especially when I look at the kids.  It doesn’t seem so long ago that Maggie was actually smaller than a fish, and last summer she started to catch them herself.  I have the photos to prove it:

Maggie at 1 year old (July 2005)               Maggie at 5 years old (September 2011)

The same with Sam:  the poor kid didn’t get a tooth until he was nearly 11 months old.  Just when we were ready to submit his mouth to the Guinness Book of World Records, two teeth sprouted through his bottom gum.  Phew!  I remember like it was yesterday, but those two baby teeth teeth are now long gone, at a profit of $2 each from the generous tooth fairy.  This past week he lost his third tooth:  one of his top front ones, and as a result he is now sporting a true Hillbilly Smile.  Maybe in this instance I should wish for time to speed up?

Baby Sam, 11 months, finally with teeth                          Hillbilly Sam at 7, sans a front tooth

I’m not a big fan of things that are out of my control, and time is one of them.  My children are growing up and away faster than I’d like to admit.  And it’s not just them… time is affecting me too.  I couldn’t possibly pluck all the gray hairs I’ve sprouted lately, and in some sick and twisted reverse aging effect I have more pimples at 40 than I ever did at 14.  What the heck!?

Despite the zits, I’m fully aware that this is a glory time of life for us.  Our parents are all healthy, our grandmothers still wise, and we can get through most days without Ibuprofen.  For the most part, our children are still more adorable than belligerent.  Honestly, life is getting easier.  The kids can put away their own laundry, pour their own milk, and flush their own waste.  I don’t especially miss diapers, night wakings, or pureeing separate meals for them.  And playing Connect Four is far more enjoyable than Candyland.  But when I look back at the pictures, I already feel so gosh darn nostalgic.  Can’t they just slow it down a freeze frame or two?

Today’s hour is lost, but I head to bed knowing I enjoyed every minute that I was given.  My parents helped us paint the living and dining rooms today.  Maggie perched on a tarp-covered chair and chatted to us the entire time, letting us know she was “available” to anyone who needed help.  Dad and Clark later installed a garage door opener, while Sam shot hoops in the garage and mentally planned out his March Madness bracket.  We all took breaks for great food, best of which was the homemade salsa Dad made from his garden tomatoes.  Tomorrow we head to Fairbanks for the World Ice Art Championships, knowing the bulk of the chores we hoped to accomplish together are already complete.

I already dread next weekend’s goodbyes… but we need to get through these farewells before we can arrive at the new journeys we have planned, such as “Cousin Week” this summer or a family Thanksgiving in Maui.  So I try to remember that time is going to tick on, whether I like it or not, and to just roll with it.

Today was a damn good 23 hours.  Tomorrow we have a full 24… just think of the potential!