Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Where did the time go?

I found an old friend on the internet the other day and it got me thinking about time. It seemed to me that it hadn't been all that long since last I saw her, but then I was aware that she had never met my children. My oldest will be twelve this summer. It seemed like yesterday I was this woman's roommate and her then youngest child would NOT wear her underpants; now that little girl is almost grown. Seems like last night we were having a conversation about my possibly visiting her in Florida for a time when she lived there and being interrupted by her realization that there was an alligator at the other end of her pool. Now twelve years, 4 children, 3 states, 1 new spouse and a cancer scare have gone by.

I feel like at any moment my mother is going to call my name and tell my teenager self I have to take my little brother with me if I want to go to the mall or to Melanie's house; then my 6th grader walks through the door. I pass a mirror and catch a brief image and my mind thinks "Wow that lady looks like my Mother" and then realize it's my own reflection I passed.

I don't feel my age but am more over reminded of it. Small babes are giant girl women taller than me now; Suave men get old then expire; young boys grow up strong then grow crazy/angry/withdrawn then finally medicated. People change into new people that you don't know. They start new lives, have new children, move out of state, get new spouses, contract diseases, loose touch, loose heart, stop caring or are unable to. And when or if you re-connect you are new people with new lives and new stories to tell and hear. Hopefully you are not so different; maybe there is a path from the youth that you were to the adult that you are.

Now yours is the suave Man and you are the Mother and they are the teenagers. The young boys are strong men. The giant girl women will soon be real women and our usefulness will fade with the transition.

But then there is that little glimmer of what is to come. A shiny little jewel to ponder and admire from inside the little box where I keep it. Someday my usefulness will fade. Someday they won't need me. That both saddens and elates me, makes me teary eyed and giddy. That I will again be my only obligation.

For now though, I will set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. and I will get up tomorrow and make coffee and get the Man off to work and the kids off to school and I will remember that yesterday I was a wife and Mother and not "Single girl in the city" although it would seem so.