Friday, August 3, 2012

Forever and ever

“Mommy stay,“ Sam requests.
“How long?” I ask.
“Forever and ever,” to clarify, Sam adds, “is a lotta time.”
Wrapping my arms around him securely, I vow, “I will try.”

And there it is – an image of my mother and my childhood self. I can hear her voice.

“The fall passed so quickly this year,” she remarks to my aunt. Is she crazy? Doesn’t she know it takes an eternity for Christmas to arrive each year? And you can travel back and forth to the moon three times before my birthday arrives in late August? Time moves slower than a snail and it is endless.

At college graduation, it occurs to me my school years passed faster than I thought. But I am busy with my friends finding my way, each of us looking for separate answers in an oddly unified way. Only through the passage of time can we find our place. I am in a bit of a hurry to get to wherever it is.

Yes! A real first real job, soon followed by a second. Nights out with friends grow less frequent as one by one we settle down. Marriages and houses and jobs are the topic now. Who cares if spring comes a little more quickly? Everyone looks forward to spring.

Next come children. “Will I ever sleep again?” I ask. “Oh yes!” my mother assures me. I beg time to pass so I can get some sleep. And then, in a blink the year has passed and we are all sleeping. There’s crawling, then walking and we’ve looped around to Christmas again. How did that happen? No matter. Christmas is a wonderful time of year.

“Let me show you how to make the calamari, so you will know when I am not here,”  my mother offers one Christmas Eve. “Where are you going? You will always be here, won’t you?” I say half in jest. I can’t imagine life without my mother. She just smiles and chides me to pay attention. But that day comes long before expected, long before I am ready. Stop. Stop. Time, please stop. There is so much I don’t know.  

Sam is 17 now; almost an adult by law. As I look into Sam’s eyes, I’ve come full circle. “Sammy, listen.” I say, “Focus. You need to try. You need to learn this.” Like the younger me, he only concerns himself with today. He laughs, purposefully ignoring me. I continue to try, echoing words from my mother, aware I am only his guide though this part of life. And tomorrow will be here long before either of us wants it to be.

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  1. oh, poignant and true, I have tears in my eyes. Thank you Sam for reminding us to appreciate each day and not hurry through life from one event to another.

  2. Janet, I love reading your posts! It was so nice to see you all on Nantucket! -Amy

    1. It was so nice to see you too. Hope we see you next summer!