Time is flying by so fast that I do believe the earth is spinning faster. Often I feel I can’t keep up. A definitive measure of this phenomenon is not only that I am now married to a man in his seventies, but that our children and grandchildren are getting so old, too.
My daughter-in-law recently turned 45. That’s about the age I was when I met her! We’d moved to California and I know I felt old, then—I wore bifocals and dowdy clothes. My children were both in college and my parents were getting older. I was in the middle of the sandwich generation and I juggled many people’s needs in my air. I also thought I knew it all. I thought I could control what happened in our family and that I had the wisdom and right to do it.. Boy, did I have a lot to learn.
Zoom! Twenty years have gone by. My parents and all my aunts and uncles are gone. My brother and sister are fine, though we all have our issues, but many friends have passed on and many are sick. Just this year has taken a heavy toll. No wonder Medicare is paying for a lot of anti-depressants.
One of the delights of our lives is our grandchildren. They brighten our days and keep us off of Prozac. Each is different and endearing in his or her own way. I keep trying to lasso time, trying to get it to slow down, but no way. I remember playing Little Red Riding Hood with Quinn when she was three. We played in our front yard and she had many roles as well as being the director. I remember thinking that I better hold onto this moment because it would soon pass—she’d be too old to play this sort of game.
A year later, she announced that she was four-and-a half.
“Slow down, “ I said.
She looked at me with all the wisdom in the world, and as if I were silly. “I can’t,” she said.
Now she’ll be twelve in June. Costco had nude lip glosses for sale and I bought them for her, asking her mother’s permission first. Yesterday I took her shopping at the Mall. She was looking for shoes for Cotillion. “I can get a little heel,” she confided, her eyes shining.
She was dressed in a skirt with tights, two camisoles and Converse tennis shoes. Her long hair was in a braided pony tail. She looked like a dancer and moved like one too. Definitely not a four-year-old anymore.
We stopped in a store called Papaya—a teenager store—and we bought her a t-shirt.
“Where do you want to go next?” I asked.
She tilted her head, thinking. “How about Build-A-Bear?
“Really?” I asked.
She nodded. “I could make a Ballet Bear and put her on my bed.”
So that’s where we went. The cool pre-teen faded away as Quinn went through the store and created Tondue.
That, I knew, was a moment to be treasured. That afternoon she was EveryGirl on the cusp of womanhood, still a child for a short while longer.
We left the store with her carrying the Build-a-Bear box in one hand, her Papaya bag in the other.