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Home / Articles / Columnists / On the Bright Side /  Time Moves Slowly, But Passes Quickly - (Alice Walker)
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Wednesday, March 9,2016

Time Moves Slowly, But Passes Quickly - (Alice Walker)

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  

My youngest son turned 21 in January. Such a milestone! I shared an adorable baby picture of him on Facebook wishing a “Happy 21st birthday to this little man.” In addition to all of the usual responses, “Happy birthday!.... where does the time go?...” I got a beautiful message in my inbox from an old college friend. It was a copy of his wife singing her own rendition of “Stop Time” from the musical Big. She sang with such heartfelt passion I got chills. Ironically, as her lovely voice sang, “Birthdays fly - 7,8,9,10” all I could think was I don’t miss that. At all. With each birthday party, I was just happy to be closer to the next. “Then he’s two, such a little man, so alive and so smart...” and such a pain. Was I a bad mom? I recall the terrible twos, fours, eights, twelves, fifteen through eighteens… each phase getting scarier than the next. I may have wanted time to go backwards, but never stop. At that point I just wanted a fast forward button!

 

Sometimes I think it would be cool to time travel to select parts of the past and relive them for exactly one hour and then return to my current life. But I do not miss those days. Motherhood was hard work! Rewarding, for sure, but rewarding NOW. I am thrilled that “I did it!” I worry much less about the little things (of course, the mother worrying probably never truly leaves us, right mom?) I now have two grown-up, responsible, thoughtful, compassionate, intelligent, funny young men who call me every Sunday and visit a few times a year. I enjoy them so much more than I ever did when they were little and needy and insecure and rambunctious and messy and loud. Sure, the photos of the milestones bring a huge smile to my face and warm my heart. But there is no pit in my stomach missing it. It’s more like, “yeah, they were so cute and my hair was so dark!”

There are some photos that give me a pit in my stomach though. Pictures of my mom and dad. And thank God they are still here on this earth with me. But they’re in New York and I’m in Florida and I miss them. I guess this is where I wish I could stop time. Like my kids, I call my mom every Sunday. And I visit them a few times a year (cue: Harry Chapin’s “Cat´s In the Cradle”). My teaching career has allowed me to spend weeks at a time with them every summer since I moved to Florida 22 years ago, and when the kids were little I brought them with me. I am very happy to have created those memories for both my kids and my parents. Yes, if I could stop time right now I’d do it. Right now is perfect. I get it. Thank you for the inspiration, Andy and Michelle. Now, I’m off to book a plane ticket…

 

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