Yesterday I spent the day in flying out to Liberty Con, which is funny since the actual flight is about 3 hours.
But you know how it goes. It involves getting up way too early, trying to muster luggage and cats, driving to the airport, standing in the security theater line — now with dogs! Coming soon, robotic probes! — for (in this case) an hour and a half, making a perfect target for terrorists, making it to the plane, crashing because you are too exhausted, then stopping for food, getting caught in rush hour on the way to Chattanooga, we got in late in the evening.
The actual travel portion of the day was miniscule, and yet it confused the entire day from getting up to getting our behinds back in bed.
I was thinking about this, as I realized our older son turns twenty five today. For perspective, that’s 3 years less than I was when I gave birth to him.
He just finished his first year in medical school, knows things I never even thought about, much less learned, and has an entire life which is none of our business, much less our not being a part of it (I don’t mean just romantic exploits, but his friends, their favorite restaurants, their favorite books/shows, the habits and traditions they’re starting to form, the things that fill his days and aren’t and shouldn’t be reported to mom and dad.)
And all I can do is scratch my head and wonder where time went.
Like the traveller who left home at six am, I find myself at dinner time, in a different city wondering where the time went.
I’m not complainig about the destination, mind you. I found myself singing “all the women call him treetop lover, all the men just call him sir,” after an interaction observed in the grocery store last night. And he’s — obviously — responsible and hard working, smarter than your average pair of socks, has this weird compulsion to want to help sick people, and is ugly as sin, in that undeniably masculine and not unattractive way some guys are.
BUT the question is, where did my cute little toddler go? He was here just a minute ago!
And we didn’t see him growing, not really, on account of we were busy with careers, and keeping the house sorta clean, and the occasional vacation, and how are we going to (help) pay for college?
So how did we arrive here? I’m not complaining, except why is the sun setting? We didn’t spend that much time in the travel?
This is apropos since I’ll be going to Portugal too, right after Liberty con, and I’ll be faced with the other side of this. You know how that goes. You’re a little kid, and you know you’re going to grow up and be your parents’ age. BUT all the time, they’re also aging, so that when you’re an adult the age you remember them at, they’re elderly.
This is not fair to them or you, or the multitudes of humans who came before. But it is yet true.
The act of living your life spends your life away. You can’t hoard time.
I’m a science fiction writer and can — and eventually will — write this in a a fairer way. And then see what results.
But until then happy birthday to #1 son, Robert Anson, and to the person we named him for, and whom we never got to meet as a colleague, due to that unfairness of time.
May you shine brightly, and your light be seen for generations and never fade.
Even if my son is what happens when you lose sight of your toddler for… I swear it was a few minutes.