Careening down the road of life.
It’s a question everyone has asked: why is it that when we get older, time goes by so much faster? In fact, it’s almost cliché.
On January 26, 2007, my son will be three years old. Three years can’t have gone by that fast! Time bends mysteriously these days. Quantitatively, three years still seems like a long time to me. But the speed at which I live through that quantity is constantly accelerating — pedal to the metal. This all started back when I was three years old, just like Brendan. I wanted to grow up — the faster the better. So does he.
My wife or I said to him they other day, in passing, not to grow up too fast (or something of that nature.) He became very upset.
“Why I can’t grow up? I want to grow up!”
We felt so bad!
“Of course you can grow up! Mommy and Daddy want you to grow up!”
Just not so fast. Every parent knows what I’m talking about. I can remember my perception of time while growing up, and three years would be approximately the equivalent of forever. A year was consider too long to think about. Months dragged on, especially the one between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the one leading up to your birthday. Weekends were even (mercifully, during the school year) long — except those prior to a report or project being due. Summers as a kid were always longer than they are now, too. Summer used to be so long that when you went back to school in the Fall, you’d almost forgotten what it was like. I now swear that Labor Day is observed the first Monday after Memorial Day.
I often like to put time in perspective of four-year blocks. That’s the time I spent in high school, and to this day I can remember being a freshman and thinking, “Holy crap! I can’t believe I still have four years of school before I’m done with all this!” At the end of it all, it seemed like those four years, though wonderful, were an eternity. From that point forward, time moved into the left lane and floored it.
The great four years of college went twice as fast as high school. By the time I learned how to stop pissing time away, I woke up and was 30. Does anybody know what I was doing during my 20’s anyway?
Welcome to 2007. Because of Brendan’s January birthday, reflection on time, his age and mine, is inevitable. I will be 37 this year; he will be 3. We’ll move through the next year together — at the same time. But, his time will pass slow, while for me, 2008 is knocking on the door.
So, I present for your consideration this twisted joke of human nature. For most, starting around the age of 3, we dream of being grown-ups — banging the dashboard impatiently, begging time to go ever faster through childood. Before you know it time responds, it’s then we start looking around desperately searching for the brakes. I haven’t found them over the last three years, so I am now trying to bring the blurry scenery of this ride into focus and take in every beautiful detail. I only hope that somehow Brendan will beat the odds and not step on his accelerator quite so hard.