Time is not on my side
Time doesn’t fly. If this past year has taught me anything, it’s that the minutes, hours, days and weeks streak past faster than one of those teenage girls chased by an ax murderer in one of the many installments of the Halloween movie series.
Sure, sometimes the clock slows down to about the speed of a motor home on Highway 9 driven by a Texan, and there are times when it even flows backwards – always a good thing if you’re getting older – but for the most part it travels so fast I barely catch my breath before another moment slips by and is gone.
I, of course, developed a theory for these distortions in the time/space continuum, and now I’m ready to publish.
Every little glitch in my household, I’ve discovered, stems from my daughter Isabell.
I’m sure it sounds crazy but as any parent knows, children in a house completely throw time out of whack.
For instance, about this time last year, my wife Beverly and I were waiting for our first pictures of Isabell to arrive from China.
But now, when I glance at those same pictures housed in frames and sitting on the steamer trunk in our living room, I can hardly reconcile those photographs with the toddler tearing around our house, pulling piles of pots, pans and plastic dishes out of the kitchen cabinets.
If she’s grown that fast, then it’s oblivious the year has gone by within the time frame of an average sneeze.
There have been moments, however, when time slowed down to a Soprano-like, knee-broken crawl, but my daughter controlled even these times.
Time almost stopped during the pause between the morning we received Isabell’s pictures from China and the first time we held her in our arms.
That wait, we both decided, felt like 20 years living in a mosquito-invested swamp covered in Acme Mosquito pheromones.
I will admit the first three weeks we had her home also passed by like a snail on downers, because Bev and I were both sick and Isabell refused to sleep through the night.
There were times when I hit a breaking point and wondered if self-destruction through drugs or alcohol wasn’t a viable option, but in the end we survived, and once we hit the parenthood groove, time just sped up.
I’m also happy to report there have been times when time even backed up. This is still, by the way, happening daily.
Every time I play catch, cars, trapeze, hide-and-go-seek or peek-a-boo with Isabell, I regress to my childhood.
Every time I join Isabell in a dance, song or cookie feast, youth gets sucked back into me faster than eyes get sucked out of a head stuck out the window of a jet cruising at 30,000 feet.
Albert Einstein once theorized – and it was eventually proven – that the farther a person moves away from the center of the earth the faster time accelerates.
So in the mountains a clock ticks faster than at sea level. What he didn’t take into account in his theory, however, was the distorting power children have on time.
As I watch my daughter growing up far too fast for me to even comprehend, I know I’ll never again catch up with my runaway watch. When kids are around time won’t let you rest.
Maybe we should move to the beach?
Andrew Gmerek writes a Friday column in the Summit Daily News. He can be reached at email@example.com. But you better hurry.
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