Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Long Days, Short Years

There are moments in life that are stark reminders of how quickly time passes. Sunday was a blatant reminder of my oft repeated quote, "The days are long, but the years are short."

Oh boy are those years short.

Yesterday, we attended a missionary 'farewell' of a nineteen year old boy ready to leave on an LDS mission. He is NINETEEN. Mike and I, as two-week old newly weds, met his dear family when this NINETEEN year old boy was looking forward to starting kindergarten. This dear family whom we have such fond memories of living across the street from for seven years, once had children the ages of our children now.

As I sat and listened to this handsome soon-to-be missionary speak, I couldn't help but look down at my three boys. One asleep on the church pew, one pestering his sister, and one shoving pretzels into his mouth at what seemed record consumption speed. And though my immediate thought was that the one son will probably never grow out of pestering his sister and the days of another other son always seeming to demand a snack in one hand and a Hot Wheels car in another will never cease, the once pre-Kindergarten kid turned pre-missionary whose deep-mature voice was bearing testimony of the Atonement of Christ was an instant and poignant reminder, that these days will surely pass.

We spent the afternoon interacting with these dear friends reminiscing of days gone by. I remembered their now high school junior having an accident on our three week old carpet from a potty training mishap. I remembered their now married son with a child of his own as a high school senior dating a girl that caused his mother constant worry. I remembered this dear friend, Kathy calling me while I was hooked to machines at a hospital with pregnancy complications, and then a few months later throwing me my first baby shower for Megan.

A baby shower for Megan?
Today I am taking her to her 7th grade Junior High orientation.
Again I am reminded, "The days are long, but the years are short."

It doesn't seem too long ago that Mike and I took turns in an old ugly wooden and wicker rocking chair willing a newborn to sleep. But now our newborns have turned to toddlers, most of our toddlers have turned to pre-schoolers, the majority of our pre-schoolers have turned to grade-schoolers, and now one of our grade-schoolers has turned to a junior-higher.

The days have been long. The days are STILL long.
But oh boy, are those years short.
I know it!
know I know it.
But sometimes temper tantrums, messy floors, unmade beds, toothpaste stained sinks and empty cups filling every inch of counter space blur the separation of long days and short years.

But then I have moments like Sunday, when I see a once five year old tow-head boy who loved playing at our house, now a mature, nineteen year old almost-man politely yet warmly, bid me farewell for two years. All the while from out of the corner of my eye, I could see and hear my diaper-only wearing two year old wail his impatience from the constraints of a car.Yet despite the chaos of the car, I climbed into the car feeling renewed.

I heard the whines with a little more perspective and a little less frustration.

The days are long, but the years are short.


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