It’s a funny thing about the age of maturity — just when you should be enjoying your prime, you realize how quickly it all flies by.
Kids think it’s better to be older than they are, no matter their age, so they look forward to their birthdays with excitement and jubilation. But by the time most of us hit 25, we wish we could slow down the clock. For every year that we live, it seems to tick that much faster.
I remember popping over to my grandmother’s house on one of my birthdays. She asked me how old I was, and when I replied, she exclaimed, “Wow! You’re old!”
To which I retorted, jokingly, “If you think I’m old, add 60 and look in a mirror!”
She died shortly thereafter. I miss laughing with her about age.
As I sit typing at my computer today, I remember when, 18 months ago, my baby started its entrance into this world. I was in the same office, same chair, same desk — same everything, save for the 50-pound basketball attached to my stomach.
I hurriedly finished a column due later that day, in between painful contractions. I remember excusing my typos in an e-mail to my editors, explaining the distracting events of my condition.
“Stop working and get to the hospital,” they reprimanded.
I did, and about 15 hours later my son was born.
Now my days are filled with his laughter, his tears, his glee and his fears. He’s go-go-go and I relish the short break I get when he naps in the afternoons. Some days, when he’s hectic and my work seems to be piling up, I long for the evening hours when he’s fast asleep, calm and contained, and I can focus on me, my husband, and my work.
I’ve cherished every moment of this past year and a half, but these 18 months have gone by in the blink of an eye. Now, not only do I wish I could stop my aging clock completely, I wish I could slow my son’s down, too, just to savour each moment longer.
I’d much rather revel in his growing vocabulary (this morning, he looked out the window and said “rain”) than worry whether he’s smoking with his mates after school; I’d rather be amazed at his ability to climb a jungle gym than worry whether he’ll hurt himself on his summer expedition with his university pals; and I prefer to be impressed by his fearless attitude towards frigid splash pools than worry about his fearless teenage driving.
And even though I foresee mischief ahead (you can already see it in his eyes), and even rebellion, I want to be around to witness it.
As much as I want to, I can’t stop the clock. But I try to slow down and appreciate as much as I can, so I don’t miss anything along the way.