Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Where Has the Time Gone?

You've probably seen it a thousand times over the last couple of weeks .  Pictures of kindergarteners on their first day of school.....kids being dropped off at college......teenagers driving off by themselves for the first time.....all with similar captions, "Where has the time gone?"  

It's, apparently, what we, moms, say.  It is written in the revised version of the motherhood handbook that upon posting any photo depicting a milestone, it is required that the mother include the caption, "Where has the time gone?"  It's like we're all trying to process the fact that we turned around for a minute and our children had made these huge leaps forward in time. 

Last week, Carson got his driver's permit and Blair turned 21 and started her senior year of college, so I, myself, have been pelted in the face with a fistful of milestones recently.  A sort of golf ball sized hailstorm, if you will. 

It does leave one to wonder......Where has the time gone?

I thought, today, we'd see if we could figure this out.            

Well, a big chunk of it got away all the times you waited to be worked in at the doctor's office after the school nurse called you at 11:30 and, by the time you talked to the doctor's office, all the appointments were filled, but "we can work him in if you can be here at 1:00".  Five hours and four new virus exposures later, you're walking out with a prescription and visible bacteria stuck to every inch of their exposed skin.....for which you'll return in 5-7 days after the incubation period is complete. 

Then, there were the times when you were just going to sit down for a minute and watch a little daytime TV while the little one napped and, next thing you knew, it was almost dark, Peter Jennings was on, and you'd drooled all over yourself and the leather recliner.

A good bit of time was spent waiting on dance class, piano lessons, and ball practice to be over......sitting in the minivan thinking about all the frozen bricks of meat in your freezer and how you were going to transform one of those icebergs into something edible within the hour.  

The time that passed while you waited for them to sound out the words in those first readers cannot be discounted......."the b-l-a-ck.....d-o-g.......the.......black.......dog.....r-u-n-s...runs.....f-a-a-s-t...... fast......runs fast".  Was any time passage more painful than that?    

There was a good bit of time that went by waiting on them to "tee tee" in the potty.....sometimes, turning the sink faucet on for inspiration.  Please, for the love of all mankind, urinate already.

Don't forget how long you waited in the line on all those Black Fridays to get the last Leap Pad, Tickle Me Elmo, and pink Nintendo DS in our solar system. 

Some time got away while you sat in school meetings in the cafeteria with your feet sticking to the floor, smelling the remnants of the John Wayne casserole from lunch....listening to an explanation of the dress code revisions, the upcoming raffle, and the acceptable and unacceptable drop off points around the school.    

You can't deny the cumulative hours spent trying to get them to burp......and then, 10 years later, the time spent trying to get them not to burp.

Oh, how about the time that we used waiting on glitter glue to dry and blowing the ink on those reading fair projects so it wouldn't smear.  And the days that passed, while we charted the growth of bean sprouts in Styrofoam cups under varying, stressful conditions, should not be taken lightly.  

A lot of sand went through the hourglass while you stood in Chick-fil-A lines that one year they wouldn't eat anything else. 

I don't even want to know how many hours were spent waiting for them to "do it myself" as you finally just stretched out across the floor face first in the carpet waiting on them to get their Keds tied. 

Oh, the moments that crept by while we looked for pacifiers, blankets, stuffed dogs, left shoes, red leotards, baseball socks, and Barbie's pink, plastic pumps.        

A lot of time passed waiting on the oven to preheat and water to boil during those chicken nugget and macaroni and cheese years.   

If you add up all the fifteen minutes that you had to keep them out of the pool after they ate, you might be surprised......oh, and all the 20 minute periods you had to stick around after allergy shots reading outdated issues of People.   

There were, at least, two cumulative years spent sitting in the carpool line behind those crazy mothers who'd get there right after lunch so they could be first.

Then, there are the school forms.  One cannot fail to take into consideration the amount of time invested in filling out the reams of redundant forms required for attending school in the United States of America.       

We'd be remiss not to mention the time you spent trying to sneak out of their bed after you'd promised to lie down with them until they fell asleep.  "Where are you going, Mommy?" .....Dang it.   

Oh, if we could retrieve all the combined time warnings at the playgrounds, parks, and pools, "Ok, five more minutes and we've got to go".........we'd all be a few years younger if we had all that back.

Yeah, there were all those times like....."You better get in here by the time I count to 3 or else!"  Those 3's can really add up over the years. 

There were the moments that passed waiting and waiting and waiting for them to fall asleep on Christmas Eve.  Luckily, Benadryl is red and could be called "Christmas Juice".

I suppose if you consider all the hours that passed waiting on thermometers to beep, bottles to warm, bathtubs to fill, VHS tapes to rewind, nurses to call back, spin cycles to finish, grilled cheeses to melt, and cupcakes to cool, I guess it makes sense.                

Time doesn't break off in big chunks.  It doesn't gush, flood, or surge.  It's not a blowout.  It never takes giant leaps or makes any sudden moves.  Time doesn't make a grand exit.        

It's more of a slow leak.  A gradual melting.  A slight trickle.          

It passes in these small, undetectable increments.  I guess if it passed us in a grander, more dramatic style, maybe we'd be more deliberate with it......more aware of it.  But, since it fools us into believing it's not going anywhere, we're caught off guard when we see how much has gotten by us. 

The next time you find yourself wondering, "Where has the time gone?".....just know that, while you were standing at the stove, reading stories, and sitting up on prom night, that's when it happened.  Yeah, while you were doing all those wonderfully important things, time quietly slipped out the back.

It's ok, though.   

You were busy raising children. 

You were busy being their Mama. 

Happy Wednesday, my friends!              


  1. Ok, favorite post EVER because of "chicken nugget and macaroni and cheese years (I thought I was the only one) and "Christmas Juice"!!

    1. Oh, the chicken nugget and macaroni years went on for a long while over here. Many chickens lost their lives during that phase.

  2. Absolutely lovely. We drop off our oldest a college on Friday and another began middle school last week. Sigh - the constant slipping away is emotionally draining.

    1. Wow! You've got some milestones going on at your house, too! Sigh.

  3. Perfect post for me. I'm helping a neighbor in the mornings for awhile taking care of little ones. Wow! I'm used of helping Kindergarten and up. Those few hours, I'm tired! But honestly, interacting with them is making me smile. Yes, being a mom and dad is joy to behold in the days of our lives. Kathleen in Az

    1. Fun, Kathleen! I think we forget how much work little people are! Hahaha. I know they appreciate your help!

  4. This made me smile as I am up this morning finishing packing up another son to head out for his freshman year of college, the other one started his freshman year last week. Leaving me just 2 at home, my oldest two are already " adults" one married, the other working hard.

    1. Margery, sounds like you're getting pelted with milestones, too! And you're blessed with a large family!!! That's awesome! Hope the boys do well at school and you do well, too. Bless our hearts :)

  5. I wish I'd thought of "Luckily, Benadryl is red and could be called "Christmas Juice".

    This cracked me up!

    You are so right ... when you think of all those tedious chores, you realize where all the time went. A lot of my time went looking for the mate to their shoes ...

    1. Yes, the lost shoes!! That was, at least, 18 months of our time right there, Jerralea!

  6. You've done it again! My oldest gets married in two weeks and I've been wondering where the time went. Now I know. Thanks for the explanation! :)

    1. Oh, wow! A wedding! That gives me a cold sweat just thinking about it! I can't even go there in my mind, Denice, but I know it's coming! I hope it all goes perfectly!