The moments go by. I marvel at friends’ hair loss, my dad’s newfound tendency to go to bed before 9, my cracking knee.
I view this time through sepia, colors gray and darken, edges disappear, focus fuzzes. We were all just kids waiting for Santa Claus, and not that long ago. Time hastens us, the blurring begins, the years gain momentum and take off down the track. We were all just kids, all just kids.
Sometimes I wish I could more clearly see the aging, the growing up, the losses and gains of years passing. What was the day the paunch began to grow around my middle? When did my daughter start to speak in complete sentences? There should be an exact moment in time, a line marking the change so we know what to expect. Today I am young! Tomorrow I will not be. Age’s gradual approach bedevils me. It’s sneaky. Predatory.
I resolve to think differently. Hold the spider. Let it crawl up my arm. Look it in its eye. It eats the flies, it eats the flies. See its purpose and certain beauty. Let the spider crawl. It moves to the baseboard and does what it does. I shake the gloomy sediment from my cobwebbed vision and look skyward. Accept the blessing.
Because we are gifted with years, bodies that carry us through, eyes sharp with wisdom,
and friends and family that grow old with us, when so many don’t, so many don’t.
I woke up this morning to two little girls wrapped around my neck. I cup my hands around feet drawn up nearly to chins. My fingers can’t contain their toes anymore. Paint dots their noses, dried something — peas from dinner? — crusts in smile lines. I think I yelled at them last night for making a mess of the peas. They nestle the tops of their heads under my chin. Two months ago, they were waiting for Santa Claus.
I will remember this. Vow to relish the pea crust, delight in paint left on the dining room table. Stop yelling.
We were all just kids, we were all just kids.
The moments go by.