Sunday, July 27, 2008

Time is relative to what, exactly?

I've been really hung up on the issue of time, lately. More precisely, the passage of. How can a memory of decades past seem like just a few years ago?

I remember walking out of my daughter's high school on the day of her graduation. As I stood still, crowds of parents and students milling around me, I felt this *whoosh* crash into my back, like a wall of water from an approaching storm. It was all the memories of seeing my oldest going off to school on her very first day, watching her walk to the bus stop. Seeing her walk off the bus, trying not to cry after a bad day. Sitting with the school band, playing an instrument taller than some of the students. Warming a bench at a soccer match, eagerness etching her face, waiting for a chance to play that usually never came. Going to school meeting after school meeting, explaining to her teachers that her "not writing to her ability" wasn't due to laziness, it was due to a learning disorder they never heard of, although I could Google "dysgraphia" in two seconds and tell them all about it, if they only cared to listen.

It was snippets of sounds and sights, of a once gawky, lanky twig of a child turning into a tall, lithesome amber-eyed beauty who would rather play football and rollerblade than spend a day mall-crawling. It was her life viewed through my eyes up to that point, condensed in a millisecond.

For all you Sci-fi geeks out there, it felt like stepping through a rift in time, actually.

They, whomever "they" are, say you see your life flash past your eyes before you die. I say you see the life of your children flash, or in my case, crash behind me like a sound wave, at every milestone of their lives. Because this phenomenon happened again a year after her graduation on the day she was married. And it will happen again if I am blessed with grandchildren.

And it happens on smaller scales also, like when daughter brings home first boyfriend, dad oils up shotgun, hones knives. Daughter gets heart broken, dad stores shotgun and knives away for another day. Whoosh-slam-trip.

So, what is time relative to? The milestones in life that rise from the ground, as they must do, because I seem to be tripping over them a lot lately (the tripping happening after the back-slamming and whooshing). Last month, my youngest turned sixteen, which is totally impossible, since it was only a year ago she had just turned ten. But, that day there was that whooshing, slamming and tripping again, so it must be so.

Either that, or I am the most uncoordinated person on Earth.

Also, another oddity of time...the older one gets, the quicker the milestone appear.

I dare not blink.

1 comment:

  1. I'm about to go through much the same thing. Mine will turn thirteen soon, and I already miss her asking, "Will you play Barbies with me Papa?"

    I hated playing Barbies (I never let her know). Now I'd give anything to sit down on the floor and make Ken get married one more time.