In the last 24 hours, I have had the opportunity to be reminded three times of the passage of time. Although it is a fact of life, I don't have to like it, right?
The first one was lighting fireworks last night. Our typical tradition is to put chairs at the end of the driveway (we live in a very quiet neighborhood with little traffic by the house) and the kids do all kind of fireworks. For the past two years, Jon, Nicole's boyfriend, has been in charge of the pyrotechnics and does a wonderful job. Joseph holds onto the shivering dog (fireworks terrify her but she wants to be with us) and cuddles and reassures her and I sit in a chair ooohing, ahhhing and reminding my children to be careful. Last nite, the boys were as involved in lighting and shooting off fireworks as I would let them and Jon would show them and I marveled at the growth and size of these young men. Nicole and Coryn snapped pictures and took videos and then we came in and watched all of them on the tv, thanks to the marvelous electronics that still amaze me but the kids take for total granted. The skies were filled with lights and pops, bangs, whistles and booms and although I know, on the logical side, that it was adding to air pollution and making some people miserable, I selfishly grinned through all of it and soaked it up like a sponge. We all ate Oreos--a silly tradition that started more than 15 years ago when we lived in Indiana when we would go to the fireworks at the county fairgrounds and sit on the hood of the car or in chairs. It was a good family time.
My second reminder was the two naps I took this weekend--one yesterday and one today. Remember when you had to be forced to take a nap as a child? It was often what you needed but never what you wanted. I remember luring my chidlren to naps by nursing them, rocking them, playing the "lie still for 2 minutes and if you're still awake by the time I say 'done', you can get back up" game. As a teenager, the only time I took a nap was if I was sick or had pulled an allnighter the night before. I clearly remember seeing my mom and dad taking naps and swearing that, no matter what, I would NEVER get that old. Ha. Yes, I hear you laughing at me now parents.
As a mother, I loved napping with babies, but once I had more than one, I never could time their schedules so that I could do it. I do have precious memories of turning on "Scrooge McDuck" cartoons in the afternoon and lying down on the couch with sleeping Nicole, while Jasmine curled up in the crook of my knees. It was her hour of watching cartoons each afternoon and my chance to snooze.
Today, naps are GIFTS. I spend most days longing for one but not getting one. When I actually give into one and fall over on the couch, I am always astonished at great it feels. Today, my children all conspired to make sure I got a nap. One brought a blanket, another a pillow. One took my glasses and the other one sternly warned me that I was NOT to get up for at least an hour. Heck, they are all bigger than I am now, so I didn't fight it. And you know what? It was a GREAT nap. Woke up energized and at peace with the world. Maybe all the people at war need is just a few extra hours of sleep . . . . Ha.
So, the third reminder of time passing (you didn't think I would forget to add a third, did you?!) is that today is Jasmine's 26th birthday. How that is possible when I stopped at 39, I don't know. But I am wishing her a wonderful day full of her friends and unexpected delights and heartfelt hugs and forever memories. I hope that is what she was given this year and every year.
So, yes, time is passing too fast. Some days last forever and ever and ever but the weeks fly, the months soar and the years are a blur. When I look back, there are so many wonderful memories and I know that even though the kids are growing up, the memories will just keep being made and I will hang onto them as hard as I can. Happy 4th of July to all.