(image credits: mommynotions.com)
Finite and Infinite. We never know which we seek.
Infinite time leads to procrastination or the piling on of more projects that we never seem to tackle. Finite time gives us deadlines yet we then long to add to clock as the deadline looms nearer.
In raising children, however, both types of time are clung to dearly.
We think that infinite time is looming ahead as sleepless hours, endless feedings and laundry abound. Diaper change after diaper change, scribbled walls to clean, blocks that got knocked down yet again…infinitely we go about the schedule and days and nights roll into each other as we lose track of time and wonder what day of the week we are on or how many days has it been since ‘we’ were a couple instead of a family. And we think “tomorrow is another day” filled with infinite mountains to climb not realizing that the finality of it all will come much too fast, just as the older and wiser parents before us have said, “don’t blink, time sneaks up on your and before you know it, they are gone.”
The finite time does, in fact, sneak up on us when we least expect it.
One day we are burping our newborn, the next we are watching them take their first steps, make a first friend, learn to spell their name and then before you know it, they are running down a soccer field, headstrong into the middle school years and off to high school soon enough. Somewhere, between 8th and 9th grade, the reality of our finite time with our babies hits us. Four, maybe five more years and then we need to send them out into the world as adults facing college and jobs and responsibility. How did we get here? How did those late-night feeding hours click by in the blink of an eye bringing us to learner’s permits, boyfriends, girlfriends, proms and college applications? What happened to the infinite hours of Lego building and Sesame Street? How did we go from too many rounds of “Candy Land” and “Sorry” to a quick shrug as they run out the door and a good night kiss after a blessing if they head to bed before we fall into it each night? And what will happen when that precious time, those 18 finite years of having a ‘baby’ in the house, is up? When we have infinitely more wisdom, more heartache and more love than we ever imagined possible and it walks out the door and heads out into the big world without our hand clutching their tiny little one, shielding them from danger?
We will be weathered by the hands of time and curse them for moving too quickly.
We will wonder if we made the most of those finite moments as we cling to the memories stored away in our hearts and scrapbooks, memorizing the littlest details of our mundane, finite times with our children. And then, as we pull the milk of the shelf in the grocery store to the sounds of a toddler squealing, we glance over our shoulder to see a tired, somewhat frazzled parent pushing a busy toddler down the aisle and we feel compared to share their experience just like we were there yesterday. With a compassionate smile and a glimmer in our moist eyes, we impart the infinite words of wisdom once uttered by those before us, “Don’t blink; it truly does goes by too fast and it is worth every single second. Just don’t blink.”
...linking up to http://www.findingthegracewithin.com/ for a Tuesday writing exercise. Please visit and read the words shared by other writers and maybe, if you're so inclined, share some of your own words relative to 'time'.
No rules, just write. :)