How often have you heard, “Time goes by so quickly?” No doubt, more than you can count. There are hundreds of poems, songs and stories about the swiftness of time. Spend time with anyone over 40 and they will make reference to the passing of time within the first 20 minutes of the conversation. I know how quickly time goes by. At 48 I have lived over ½ of my life. My childhood is barely a memory, my adolescence a blur, and my young adult years so quickly lived that I wonder if they might have been imagined. My early memories contain snippets of holidays, family vacations and extended family gatherings, short, brief glimpses. Then there are the Emily and Laura years; twenty-two years that have challenged the speed of light. Yet these memories seem more focused, more detailed and infinitely more precious.
The older I get the more treasured time becomes. I realize the importance of savoring each possible moment, of living them fully and sharing them with those I love. The conundrum for one my age, with young adult children, is that my desire to spend time with my children is not equal to the time they desire to spend with me. Time is not as valuable to them. Pink Floyd sang, “You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.” Trying to get them to understand why a few hours spent together creates moments of memories I will cherish when they are gone, is like trying to get a politician to understand the importance of honesty. It just ain’t gonna happen.
I have very few memories of my daughters as young adults. I am selfish and want to collect more but they are preoccupied with work and friends, school and living, and not so worried about creating moments of memories with their mom. I do not begrudge my daughters the time they spend living their lives. I do not expect, or even want, them to spend hours upon hours with me. They are at an age where they should be preoccupied with events and persons rather than being preoccupied with their mom. But oh, what I would give for an afternoon a month, or even an undisturbed hour after work once a week, with no phones, no friends, just us and some thoughtful conversation. Something for me to look back on and remember when they are gone, when I have nothing but time to reflect.
“Backward, turn backward, O Time in thy flight, Make me a child again, just for tonight.” -Elizabeth Akers Allen