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June 2014

It All Goes By in a Blink (No, It Actually Does Not)

Last week I was sitting in the baseball stands where I first sat eight years ago. During closing ceremonies for my son’s final year at Lilttle League I  listened as other parents snapped their fingers saying, “It goes by just like that.” It’s not the first time that I’ve felt like an oddball at Little League. I only knew this would be the last.

It didn’t go by just like that. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me that I don’t feel like I’m hurtling through time at warp speed. I sat in those bleachers for eight long years. I remember being tired at tee ball, at wee ball, at coach pitch, during AAA, minors and majors. I remember 4pm practices seeming like they were late in the day because my kids were waking up at 6am for fun (and to torment me) and those days feel like they were long ago because they were long ago. It’s been a while since I had to worry about kids choking on grapes and you couldn’t pay me to go back in time. How do all my contemporaries feel like it was just yesterday that the team manager’s biggest job was tying shoes and wiping noses? What am I missing? Why does time slog along only for me?

Today I found myself at my son’s moving up chapel. It’s the last moving up chapel I’ll ever attend. You see on the last day of school each grade moves to their new pew for the next year. They symbolically cross the aisle and move more toward the back of the chapel. It’s really very sweet and when I watched next year’s kindergarten take their seats in the front of the chapel I was struck once again by how time does not race by. I remembered buying Alexander’s first uniform in the smallest size the store offered. I remembered his bright white socks and impossibly cute knees poking out under blue shorts. I remember how stiff the pants were since they’d sewn in patches preemptively and I remember thinking how will I fill my days when I have two children gone from 8 to 3? Hint: the answer involved both tennis and Pilates.

There is nothing about motherhood that has flown by for me. I feel weird and different and I wonder if it’s because I’ve been a stay at home mother and that the experience of mothers without careers is that time drips by in the slowest of increments. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been writing about motherhood for so many years. Maybe the act of dissecting it and giving it too much attention has slowed the progression. Maybe I need more childless friends?

All I know is this. The world keeps snapping their fingers and telling me that it goes by, “Just like that.” And I’m swimming upstream through molasses and enjoying every moment of it. Sweet slow swims can be like that.