Time keeps on slipping into the future

It’s 12:38 a.m. and I’ve finished working and turning in my hours for the pay period. It does not seem normal to be awake at this hour of the night. Usually, the phone rings at least once or twice in the mornings before I’m fully coherent. I manage to make my 10-year old a school lunch and comb his hair every morning before 8 a.m., but then I always return upstairs to my still-warm bed and fall semi-conscious for awhile.

I’ve always been predisposed to a nocturnal life, but for almost the entire last fifteen years I’ve been required to recalibrate my settings and rise early. When my twins were babies, they woke up every morning at 5:30 or 6. Until they were about four years old, they woke up that early, no matter what time they went to bed. For those four years of ruthless mornings, I vowed to get revenge when they were teenagers, but as it turns out, it’s so nice and quiet when they are sleeping late that I do not bang pots and pans by their heads at 6:00 a.m. to torture them as they tortured me for those long years.

Time is so odd because sometimes it stretches way past the horizon. You can’t imagine anything will ever change. You’ve been changing diapers forever or wiping noses for an entire lifetime. You can never imagine sleeping in until 10 a.m. or driving anywhere without buckling everyone into carseats or leaving a child behind when you run errands.

And then one day you look up and everything’s changed. Your kids are taller than you, your baby can grate cheese all by herself, and your mother is almost 65 years old. And that very day you get a letter from your immortal great-aunt and in her suddenly shaking cursive she tells you that she is 84 and Uncle Em is 81 and they’ve had a difficult winter and that the highlights of their day are when the mail arrives at 1:30 p.m. and the newspaper arrives at 4:30 p.m.

And you realize that these notecards that your great aunt has been sending to you for forty years–give or take a few months–will one day stop arriving.

And the crocuses you planted are pushing through the wet dirt already.

Not a single moment stops, ever. Life is a rushing river, never ever a stagnant pond. Grab the babies and kiss them while you can. And, by all means, take a few moments and send dear Aunt Nellie a letter and make her day.

13 thoughts on “Time keeps on slipping into the future

  1. I keep planning to march into my boys’ bedroom at 3am complaining of a bad dream and demanding to sleep in their bed but somehow I never manage to be awake at that time! Lovely post Mel. I just realised that my mum is the same age now as my grandmother was when she died. A sobering thought. I’ll give my mum a hug tonight when I get home. Just because.


  2. Another friend of mine just posted something like this and it has been on my mind too. I’m trying to stop and take it all in and appreciate it as it is rushing by for a change, because life moves so fast.

    If you aren’t a fan of country music and haven’t heard Kenny Chesney’s song, Don’t Blink, I highly recommend checking it out. It will make you cry…and it is all too true…


  3. Beautiful and so true.

    If you haven’t discovered it already, the time goes by a little faster each year.

    My mom is 95, my baby child is 35, my oldest would have been 52 this year.

    And I’ll soon be 70.

    There’s a much older song. Here’s part of it – I’m sure you know it.

    “Where are you going, my little one, little one? Where are you going, my baby, my own?
    Turn around and you’re two. Turn around and you’re four. Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of the door.”


  4. I’ve noticed myself that river is rushing faster and faster. In my mind, I’m still 20 something, with many years to get done all the things on my list, but then I look around to find I am a mom to an 18 year old, and my youngest will be hitting double digits this year. What happened? Did I blink?


  5. Oh, boy, if I wasn’t in a particularly good mood this AM I’d most likely cry. Your words are a great reminder that life goes by much too quickly.

    One the posters above mentioned Kenny Chesney’s song Don’t Blink. You should check out the lyrics at the very least. Makes you want to squeeze your kids really hard and not allow them to grow anymore!!!


  6. I held my grand daughter while she slept today. A two hour nap.

    Why didn’t I hold my babies while they napped?

    Because I had things to do.

    I’ve learned a lot in my old age. There is NOTHING more important than holding those babies.


  7. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    I’ve been anointed as Valentine Fairy & you’ve been Valentined!



  8. So true, so true. And as was said before, it goes faster every year.
    I can look my youngest daughter almost straight in the eye now, the one who used to be my little peanut, whom I warned to never grow bigger.
    Carpe Diem.


  9. I keep looking at my “baby” who is now 16 and taller than I am. He denies that he’s taller than his mother — I think a part of him doesn’t really want to grow up, either.


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