We've tried to stay in contact through the years. The college years. The newlywed years. The birthing years. The play date years. And on and on and on until now we're either all snug in our empty nests or we've got one foot over in it. We're having our 30th class reunion this year. I remember when that was something old people went to.
Our conversations have changed through the years. From weddings to labor to potty training to teenage smart mouths. Now, we talk about the crazy cost of college, aging parents, and health issues that are beginning to creep in on us. Time passes and it changes what's on our minds.
We met early. The tables around us filled up......and emptied......and filled up again. And we just kept sitting. And laughing. And talking about this place where we are now. We watched people coming and going and passing outside the window by our table but we were just content to sit there and enjoy the coziness of friends until the whole place had cleared out. Just a few old friends, who were all passing the same mile marker, talking about the journey. Texts and phones and social media can never replace the sight of a friend across the table......as hard as we might try, sometimes.
Time passes differently now than it did. When I was a kid, it seemed like Christmas would never get here. The month of December was just shy of an eternity as I thumbed through the Sears Christmas catalog. Every day, I'd carefully watch the time in class waiting on three o'clock to come and the second hand on the classroom clock seemed to move at a painfully slow pace. When I was a teenager, I thought the weekend would never arrive. So many exciting plans but it dragged its feet and was never fast enough to suit me.
Now, before I get up good, it's time to go back to bed. One Monday turns into the next Monday. Seasons change every couple of weeks. It's hard to keep track of which birthday you're celebrating when they're spinning like a top. And we put away the Christmas decorations only to get them right back out again. When I was younger, I remember my mother would be writing a check and she'd always say something like, "My word, is it the 19th already? Where has this month gone?" I never knew what in the world she meant by that but I have a pretty good idea now.
I was wondering why that is. Why time passes so quickly as we get older. Maybe when we were kids, there was a lot of time to do whatever we pleased. It was a time to play and have fun and few worries clouded our mind. It was an age that we were convinced had no end. When we were teenagers and young adults, maybe we were anticipating the next step in our future and in our independence and because of all that excitement and anticipation, time seemed to crawl at a snail's pace. Maybe when we had little kids, we were so tired from making bottles and running here and there that bedtime and potty training and sleeping through the night seemed like they would never come and bring us relief. But, maybe when we get a little older, like us, and our kids are moving toward independence and away from us......when our parents begin to show age, our house starts to get quieter, and our joints commence making that popping noise when we get up.......maybe that's when we start trying to slow down this thing called life. When you look back behind you and then look out in front of you and it seems like there may be a little more time behind you than what's ahead.....maybe that's when you start to feel like life is a runaway train. It's kind of like when you're on an awesome week vacation and you start to get a panicky feeling around Wednesday knowing that it's all passing by so quickly.
We went down the street for dinner tonight. Our good friends from way back live in our neighborhood and it seems like we see them less than anyone else. We always talk about how ridiculous that is and, tonight, they so graciously invited us over to eat. We laughed and caught up and talked about......our oldest girls who are off at college......our youngest kids who are about to drive.....and our husbands who are so close to retirement they can almost smell it. Not at all what we talked about just a few years ago.
We decided to try to make the weeknight dinner visit a regular thing because, well, we're all on this awesome vacation......
And it's Wednesday.
Y'all have a great weekend.