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  • The View Master

    May 20, 2010

    Tempus fugit, carpe diem and all that. Last day of kindergarten, pass the kleenex.  This post was originally published last year but seems especially appropriate today as I sit at my desk trying to figure out how it all got away from me so fast.  Neither sweet nor bitter stays on the tongue for very long.  Tempus fugit indeed.

    * * *

    These days, life seems to click past from weekend to weekend, holiday to holiday, school year to school year.  It is as though I am seeing my life through a View-Master.  With the click of the thumb, one season disappears from view and is replaced with another.  And then another, and another.

    Soon the school year will be over and we’ll look forward to lazy summer days, swimming and popsicles.  Click.  Then Father’s Day.  Click. Then Independence Day. Click. And then Labor Day.  Click. And then back to school again.

    I was almost 39 when we married and AD was 42.  We were both on the dark side of 40 when Sean came along.  And perhaps because we are older or because we came to parenthood in the 11th hour, time is the filter which sifts the meaning out of the mundane for us.  Time is our most precious and finite resource and informs our every thought.

    The other day I watched a young woman in the grocery store pushing a cart with her baby in the seat.  I watched her stop the cart and lean in to rub noses with her baby and coo sweet round syllables to her.  I estimated her to be about 25 and I thought about how if she lives to be 80, she will get 55 years with her baby.  And I was a little envious.

    If I’m lucky enough to live to be 80, I will get 36 years with my child.  I am so grateful that I ever got to be a mom. I am grateful for every single day, even the days when I cry and complain about how hard it is because I know that no matter how many years I get, in the closing moments of life as I am ushered off  into the shadow of death, if I wish for anything at all, it will be more time.

    This right-now season that fills the frame of the View-Master, is especially vibrant and crisp and golden.  My eyes want to linger here, to stay just a little bit longer…

    Click.

    29 Comments »

    1. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

      Oh. STOP IT! Sniffle. 🙂

      You know I can relate, friend.

      Happy Graduation to Sean! I hope we get to see a picture of him in all his cap-and-gown [or sic] glory!

      And after that it’s summer – prime rosebud gatherin’ season!

      May 20th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    2. Tom says:

      Happy Graduation! Take lots of pictures, AM; the moment may pass but the hard copies help keep it fresh.

      May 20th, 2010 at 7:22 am

    3. Sandy (aka Great-Granny Grandma) says:

      Beautiful if poignant post. I can so relate to your View Master analogy.

      May 20th, 2010 at 7:39 am

    4. Lori McDaniel says:

      Okay! You made me cry because I do the same thing…always doing the math! I was 40 when my son was born and 44 when my daughter was born, so I think too often about how long I’ll be able to be with them. But then, my own mother (who was what seemed to be old at the time I was born…33!) died unexpectedly when I was 37. Fortunately, I think I was through “cooking” by then, so it was safe for her to leave me on my own. So maybe I don’t have to try to live until 85 or more! But yes I also envy these young moms who have not yet begun to examine their own mortality! But being older has it’s own advantages. We, probably more so than younger mothers, have figured out how fleeting time truly is and as a result may tend to live more in the moment with our kids….even if our older knees and hip joints do complain more about sitting on floors and hard baseball field risers!! And I truly love your view master analogy…perfect!

      May 20th, 2010 at 8:27 am

    5. momof8 says:

      Yikes, I try not to think about that, it gives me anxiety! I just try to savor every day–it goes so dang fast! Although I am counting down the days until summer–woo hoo! Hope you all have a great one!

      * * *
      For me, the acute awareness of time helps me to savor it all the more. Time is the most mysterious of all things; incomprehensible.

      May 20th, 2010 at 8:31 am

    6. Laura J. says:

      …making my heart ache… sigh.

      May 20th, 2010 at 8:49 am

    7. Cathie says:

      Oh, yes. What Lori up there said. I think about this way too often. I was 43 and my husband 41 when Gabe was born. All too often he wants to discuss what it will be like when he’s grown up. I will need to live to be 100, for sure.
      Stop making me cry! I’m trying to work, here!

      May 20th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    8. Susan says:

      That was painfully poignant. It only goes faster, it seems, the older they get. I miss my little guys, but this is a fun age too.
      I was 32 & 34 when mine were born, so I am not exactly a Spring chicken either. I firmly believe we are better parents due to our life experience. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      May 20th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    9. Lilly says:

      Great post. I think awareness of how time flies by does make one appreciate the present more. I always think how much I’ll wish I was in today, someday when I’m old and in tomorrow.
      I was the same age as you when I had my son but it isn’t unusual where we live since most moms have their kids in their mid to late 30s, so early 40s isn’t that much older. I feel in the norm around here.

      May 20th, 2010 at 9:02 am

    10. Heather Crawley says:

      You summed up my feelings today. In a few hours, I am going to go to my son’s 5th grade graduation. When did I get old enough to have a middle schooler?

      There is a song out right now by a band called Revive. The song is called Blink and says something like, “time goes by in the time it takes to look back.” I am trying not to look back, but just focus on what I have with my kids today.

      I lost both of my parents in my 30’s and hope/pray I can leave behind the legacy in my children that my parents left in me, in the event I leave them before I get to watch them bloom into their adult/family lives.

      Congrats to Sean on his graduation. Now, I need to go back my purse with kleenex.

      May 20th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    11. Julie says:

      I was 3 months shy of 40 and my husband was 50 (!) when Eric surprised us. He goes off to kindergarten in the fall. Part of me is relieved, but part is longing for the past, or another to fill the void that I’m not ready for. But I guess I have to be. ‘Cause I’m the Mom. Sigh.

      May 20th, 2010 at 9:30 am

    12. Gigi says:

      Why must you always make me cry?? I have to stop reading you when I’m at work!

      May 20th, 2010 at 10:01 am

    13. Lisa Beth W. says:

      I n.e.v.e.r. count the years like that. But I do treasure the days b/c I do know how fast it will all go. Oh, my babies! In my heart they’re still all my babies, even though my oldest is nearly 17.

      May 20th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    14. Sarah S. says:

      With Lisa Beth, I don’t think of it that way, and perhaps miss some treasuring. but May definitely brings about melancholy as the calendar pages rip the grade off the calendar. My babies are finishing 6th and 8th grade, so one is facing high school. I can almost talk about it without crying. I am so proud of the young man and woman they are becoming, though my heart is ripped to shreds at the little boy and girl they are shedding.

      May 20th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    15. meghan @ spicy magnolia says:

      Time sure is a mystery like you wrote; it’s hard to wrap my mind around it, and it strikes up so many different emotions. It’s sadly so fleeting and I’m with you, trying to savor each and every moment. I loved this post! And yeah for Sean having an awesome year!! Enjoy your precious boy this summer. 🙂

      May 20th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    16. Shay B says:

      Thank you for the reminder.

      Thank you for your talented and gifted words.

      This post made my heart hurt and smile at the same time. For my little ones seem to be so big lately and I know it will only move faster.

      God Bless you and AD and your little Sean. Know that whether you have 80 or 40 years with him it is all amazing to him!

      *Shay B*
      P.S. I want to be you when I grow up.

      May 20th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    17. edj says:

      The thing is, it’s never enough time. My mother lived to 85, which made me 42 when she died. I would have thought that would be “enough.” It wasn’t.
      But I suppose that’s better than the thought that there could ever have been enough time, right?

      May 21st, 2010 at 4:58 am

    18. Sandra says:

      My mother gave birth to me at 36 and she is now 104. Her mind is sharp as a tack and, until the last year or so, she was fairly active, going to church, walking the halls of her retirement center several times a day, etc. She would have loved to have had children as soon as she married at 18. I often think that if my sister and I had been born then, we might not even still be here to share these last rich years with her. I wish the same longevity and strenth for you and Sean.

      May 21st, 2010 at 7:16 am

    19. Ora says:

      I have nieces, nephews, and some cousins who are enjoying great grandchildren…I just might make it…but my grandchildren tell me not for a good while…so if I live to be a hundred…I just might get to see some LOLOL…but it is ok if I don’t…life is good right now..and we are enjoying ever day of it…but like you I too from time to time look down the road…and then up the road…and just wonder!!!! hugs from Ora in KY

      May 21st, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    20. heidig says:

      Oh so true! Today I will take pictures and make memories as I watch my youngest head off to the prom looking so much older than her 17 years. On June 18th, I will wonder again where the years have gone as she graduates from high school. And I cannot even begin to think of August when I will kiss her softly on her cheek, hug her to me one last time and send her off to college for the next four years. I am getting old.

      May 21st, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    21. Gina says:

      Working mother of 2 and the other night I was crying to my husband saying I need more time. More time for my kids, my house, us and me.

      * * *
      Oh I know. I’ve cried those tears. Time is our most precious resource. You can always get more money but you can’t get more time. ~AM

      May 21st, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    22. Linda says:

      I haven’t visited in a long while, but had to say, this post is EXACTLY how I feel about motherhood! I was almost 40 when I had my daughter and things really do just seem to fly by for me. Still, like you, I am so very grateful for having a family at all! Thanks for posting this, you hit the nail right on the head!

      May 23rd, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    23. Nan says:

      Noooo, Antique Mommy! We all get the same time, because they leave us a little every year. My eldest is so independent now… lets me know that he will be late coming home “Call me on my mobile, if anything” he says. He’s gone. I get occasional snuggles: He’ll massage my shoulders, nothing like the cuddles of yesterday! I stock the fridge. Wash clothes. My little boy is growing up, and leaving me, before I could leave him. So will yours!

      * * *
      No Nan, we do not all get the same time. I wish we did. My mom lost her
      mother when she was four and it’s very apparent how that has shaped her. Life is not fair, but we play the cards we get as best we can, right?

      May 24th, 2010 at 3:17 am

    24. Leslie Maddox says:

      Oh, I can relate. I was just shy of 35 when my son was born, and will probably be at least 37 if we have another. I quit my job to be home with my son, and am so glad. Every second counts. I get to feeling so sad and lonely and useless so much of the time, but the alternative – being somewhere where I’m surrounded by people and “useful” – is unthinkable if it means losing time with my little guy. Oh my goodness, I love that kid.

      May 24th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    25. CJ says:

      No matter how long our lives intersect, it’s too short. Thank God for eternity. (1 Corinthians 15:54)

      May 26th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    26. Jennifer says:

      Oh I feel this way too! It is slipping by SO fast! My little one and only starts JK in the fall. I am excited for her but already grieving the loss of these precious pre-school years. I’m with CJ, I do so thank God for eternity! To know that this is only the very beginning – and that God has unimaginable joys ahead for us where he will wipe every tear from our eyes. Thank you dear Jesus. AM, you have a knack for making us all cry! Look forward to meeting you in eternity too!

      May 26th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    27. Beck says:

      SOB.
      I had my kids relatively young – my first at 26 – and yet the years are still flying by and not one of them is a baby anymore. And it hurts in this weird, mysterious way.

      June 3rd, 2010 at 8:42 am

    28. rrmama says:

      So do mine AM, so do mine.

      June 7th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    29. Tanya says:

      I am so right there with you and am clicking through my life faster than I want to. If I live to be 80, my triplets will only be 33 and that is way to young to not have their Mother. I lost my Mother a month ago, and me, at the age of 53 was way too young to be without her.

      What I have learned, is to make the best of everyday and cherish every moment we have as Antique Mommies. I know you do that too.

      June 15th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

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