Wishing time would slow down

I recently watched a video created by a Dutch father that captured his daughter’s first 14 years in slightly more than four minutes of continuous images of her developing face.
The video appears on Facebook and has done the rounds, I would suspect.
The idea is a fascinating one—one I wish I had thought of. But the watching of the video made me feel very sad. The truth is time passes much too quickly and this video heightened my awareness of that fact.
I can remember wishing the days away so I could get my first bike when I turned 10. I remember aching to be 13 and later 16, and so on and so on.
There always was something to be looking forward to; something that required the passing of time. And time did just that, slipped away without much notice at all, though at 10 it may have felt frightfully slow.
Now that my babies are having babies, time seems to have picked up its pace once again. The little bundle of pure delight that I welcomed in October now sits on his own and has a huge voice—the masculine version of his mother’s hearty laugh.
He rolls over on command and prefers his mother’s company to that of any other, evidenced by the “big lip” (the lip that all mothers know only too well; a lip that has us leaping tall buildings and running faster than a speeding locomotive to save our precious progeny).
He has discovered there are feet at the ends of his legs—a fact he finds delightful and still somewhat surprising. In six months, he went from a helpless lump of perfection to a little boy.
His hair is trying very hard to be blond and to curl, and though he looks very much like his father, I credit my father for Linden’s curly blond hair and sparkling blue eyes.
He also has made me adjust my proclaimed mantra that “girls are the very best,” because this little boy is as close to perfection as anyone can come.
People ask, with well-meaning intentions, if my daughter is fortunate enough to have had a “good” baby. Is there such a thing as a bad baby?
I can’t imagine such a thing, though I’m sure if I had endured a baby with weeks or months of colic, I might have thought there could be an easier baby.
With the geographic distance between my daughter and I, from coast to coast of this enormous country, time has a way of galloping with even greater speed, recklessly even.
Linden won’t wait for me to visit before he learns to walk or to put a sentence together, or to ride a two-wheeler or to kick a soccer ball.
He won’t check in with me before he decides on his favourite colour or what team he prefers to cheer for, or if he is any good at math. It is a dilemma that truly has me stumped.
Birthdays come and go, and worrying about the frequency of them does nothing to slow time. But it is a reminder to live in this precise exact moment; to take in the sights that surround us at this particular second in time.
I’m sitting next to a table of four older ladies having breakfast out together. They are laughing, sharing stories; one has a new tablet she is trying to learn to use and the other three are teasing her about the madness of technology.
They are beautiful, their bright white hair, a grace about them that is inspiring.
They have earned the wisdom that comes with the passing of time.
It was Delmore Schwartz, an American poet, who said, “Time is the fire in which we burn.” That pretty much sums it up.
wendistewart@live.ca

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