Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Elusiveness of Time

This morning, while on my walk with one of the dogs, I passed a quiet swing set. I walk the same path every day, but today it made me stop, take a picture, and remember. Years ago, Chris and my dad assembled a swing set in our backyard. I remember that it took a crazy long time, had a ton of pieces, and he made a comment about how he hoped they would use it enough to make it worth it.

They did.

Ours had a fort, three swings, a slide.
While looking for a picture of our swing set, because I knew there were many taken over the years, I ended up inadvertently heading down memory lane.
I had forgotten about the notes I used to put in the boys’ lunches every day for school. Sometimes just to say hi, sometimes more. I wonder what Luke would think if I left one in his lunch he makes now?
I had momentarily forgotten Liam’s absolute obsessions with cows, which he called “cowie.” When he had seen these boots at Target one day, he absolutely pleaded with me to buy them. Since they were pretty cheap, I did. Then he wore them everywhere.
I found this photo of these kids, my last class in fourth grade. I moved to fifth grade with them. Now they are freshman in college. I love their nine and ten year old faces.

I found this one of my ever patient former student, Colleen, trying to give Liam swim lessons. For an entire week the only time his head was wet was when there was a light rain during lessons. He had been so proud, thinking he could trick me into believing he went under water that day. Now he basically lives at the pool in the summer.
I found these from a family trip to Mount St. Francis, where my Uncle Bobby was a friar at. They were in honor of his sixtieth birthday. I’m so grateful that many of us could be there, it seems inconceivable that he is gone and has been for almost a year.
I found many of t-ball and baseball. My boys don’t play anymore, but I loved this picture of Luke. He’s seven here, but he is determined. The kid has never tried to half-ass anything.

And then I found this one. I believe this was Liam’s fifth birthday. I’m not sure how I convinced Chris he was going to be a Jedi Master for Liam’s party, but he did it. I love this memory and feel that for Liam’s fourteenth birthday in April, Chris should bring the robe back. I’m sure it’s floating around this house somewhere.

Years ago a colleague came over for lunch. When she pulled out the dining room chair, there was a small Buzz Lightyear guy on it. I apologized, picking it up so she could sit down. She laughed and reminded me to treasure the time, with her son being towards the end of high school at the time, she told me it would go far too fast. She was so right.

This week Liam and I drove somewhere in the car as he talked to me about music. He told me he had loved Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s If We Were Vampires. I was excited about that and said I thought it would be a cool song to dance to at a wedding. He smiled and said when he got married, maybe he would. And then he told me to remember that he and I would be dancing to Simple Man. I was grateful for the darkness so he wouldn't see my tears at the idea that he’d remembered how much I loved that song.

Days later I stood in the kitchen cooking while Luke talked to me after practice. He shared that he’d emailed a friend of ours who is a doctor, soaking in all of his knowledge since he wants to go into the medical field as well. He jumped from the topic of medicine, to college, to running, to the house he wants to build one day. He has such drive, I stood there a bit in awe, knowing I did not have that at sixteen.

Looking back, I sometimes long for those days when they were small. The days I could yell, “read-a-thon” and they’d grab books and dive onto my bed to curl up and read with me for an hour or more. But then, the truth is, I love the people they have become, more and more each day. I’ve screwed up so many times over the years as a mom, but somehow they forgive it all and we move forward. And so I’ll see things that will make me nostalgic for a bit, emotion will well up, but then I’ll listen to Liam play the drums, watch Luke run a race, and think that I absolutely cannot wait to see what they do next. It has been an amazing journey so far.