it flies by.
they all told me. they tell all of us. in those moments, when you think time is standing still, they tell you: time flies by. it is in retrospect – days, weeks, months, years down the road – you realize they are right.
i have awakened in this room for over thirty years.
the light has streamed in through the windows in that way i recognize and that gives me great comfort.
the radiator in the sitting room just outside the frosted-glass french door to the bedroom has clunked each cold morning as the boiler kicks on.
through the years multiple sweet dog-faces and one beloved cat-face have greeted me with breakfast and outdoor anticipation.
the smell of coffee manages to drift around the corner and waft its way toward my pillows.
i have had the good fortune of turning my head on the pillows and looking into the face of two very different men, husbands who have shared different times of life with me, one who drank nary a sip of coffee in the way-back-when and one who brings first coffee to the bedside table.
and my beloved children. i counted the months of pregnancy, reading “what to expect when you’re expecting” cover to cover perched in bed in this room. then suddenly, they lay in onesies in the crook of my arms, newborns nestled under the comforter with me. and suddenly, they wore footie pajamas and curled up after a dream. and suddenly, they were peeking their heads in the door to announce they were home so i could relax and sleep. and suddenly, they were home on college breaks and random weekends. and then, just as suddenly, they were no longer living here and the empty nest was a real thing.
and i awake every morning and they are the first thing i think of in the middle of familiar light rising and coffee brewing and dogdog’s gleeful greeting and d’s face on the other pillow.
our son cautioned us that we shouldn’t ask how he described us when he arrived at the restaurant and looked for our table, but of course, that was an open invitation and i couldn’t resist asking. “i asked where the older couple was sitting,” he said, watching me for my reaction. i poked him on the shoulder and rolled my eyes saying, “geez! we’re not THAT old!”. there was so much to talk about so the subject of us aging into ‘the older couple’ dropped, but i thought about it later.
when i was shy of 30 my parents were in their late 60s, a few years older than we are. i suppose it’s possible that i might have described them the same way. fair is fair, after all. and time probably flew for them too. even without them realizing it. as i think about it now, i bet they didn’t feel old either.
sometimes in the quiet moments of morning, as i sit with coffee perched against the pillows, i imagine the sounds of the house waking up thirty years ago, twenty-five years ago, twenty years ago, fifteen years ago, ten years ago.
and, although i would love to have those moments back – to live again, to embrace again – time has moved on and there is no time machine.
instead, i cherish the times that were – each and every slow-motion and flying-by-time – and look at my children, all grown-up and living life out on their own and celebrate them.
i look to each and every time i can see them with joy and excitement.
and at the end of the day as i lay my head on my pillow in this very-familiar-room, i thank my lucky stars to have had all of it, to have all of it.
read DAVID’s thoughts this SATURDAY MORNING
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