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What Happened to Time?

December 17, 2017 | by Miriam (Tara) Eliwatt

When I was a kid, I wanted everything to hurry up. Now I can’t slow it down.

There was once a time when a month felt like a hundred years, and one year was equivalent to a lifetime. Like when I was a kid at the end of summer.

“What?! I can’t wait another year for camp!” I cried out to my mother.

“It will go quickly, don’t worry!” But it didn’t go quickly.

So, what happened to Time? – I asked myself as I sat at my son’s 8th grade graduation ceremony? How did fourteen years fly by as if in one month?

There he sat in his suit, a tall, thin kid with an angular face, looking at the floor, at the podium, at his long fingers – mostly trying to avoid his mother’s gaze from the second row.

Was this the same kid who just yesterday refused to nurse and hated to sleep? Who said honey dew at fourteen months and was so plump strangers would stop to stare, exclaim or squeeze his oozing fat?

Look at him sitting there, I thought, wiping away my eye make-up and tears burning my eyes. He’s a person with thoughts and opinions. But wait! He was just screaming for his pacifier and throwing his toys out of his crib. When did he learn to think?!

He gave the graduation speech, holding the microphone as if he’d done this before – but I knew he hadn’t. He unfolded his paper and began to speak in a deep voice. When did his squeaky voice disappear?

I can’t pinpoint the moment when time changed, when life suddenly began to move so quickly that I kept pressing the button on the camera but never got around to making the albums. When I started to speak about the past in large chunks of time like ten or twenty-five years ago.

Sometimes I try to grab onto time and hold it back as if in a tug-of-war, trying to savor every moment, taking mental notes so I remember the details. But just as fast as I’ve taken those notes, they’re gone and I’ve lost the tug-of-war.

When I was a kid, I wanted everything to hurry up. Now I try to coax time –

“Hey Time, let’s be friends. Give me a chance to make everything right. Slow down and I’ll show you all that I can achieve.”

But we can’t change the speed; we can only work hard to appreciate the moments before they disappear.

The ceremony over, my son handed me a pile of books and papers to take home, patted me on the back and ran over to dance with his friends in celebration. And I thought, just as I can’t remember one detail about my 8th grade graduation (except that I was wearing a blue dress and a straw hat), one day these moments will be for him forgotten memories of time gone by.

My husband was busy snapping away, desperately trying to capture Time before it passed by.

One month no longer feels like a year, and a year no longer feels like a lifetime.

But I pray that I will still be here in the blink of an eye when my son, the one who was once so attached to his pacifier, will walk down the aisle with his gray-haired father to greet his bride and then again, when his son does the same.

Time – may we be friends for many more years to come.

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