The measure of time happens naturally around the holidays. “When you were this age, you would….” “Do you remember the year when…..” It seems like a natural, for better or worse, time to reflect and reminisce. You leave your present moment to laugh or cry about the past, and although we may know the mantra about the present being a gift, to me….musing (not wallowing) about these memories, gives us glimpses of who we are presently and with any luck, gives pause to be grateful for the present and reverent to the mystery of time remaining.
Even better than the structured milestones, I love it when the measurement of time happens naturally. In the wee hours of the morning today, I had a stiff neck and bad breath. I had MJ on one side and Ry on the other and we were doing the airplane sleep (or rather sleepless) dance. With a dinosaur pillow pet and a blue blanket, we had more position changes than a Madonna Vogue video. When I finally gave up the notion of sleep and just rubbed their backs and watched the city get closer into view, I felt the familiarity of the moment. As we landed, and they of course, were finally sleeping soundly, I grabbed them a little tighter against the braking of the plane….and thought, “How many times have I done this?” Considering MJ took her first plane flight at 4 weeks of age and had 8 different legs, and Ry’s first trip at 3 1/2 weeks included a flight across country and car ride through 5 states……..I have done this A LOT of times.
Sigh, but for how much longer? Surely, my teenagers won’t be splayed out over me, on my shoulder and lap, whining about room and the lack of sleep, whispering “love you” with bad breath, crossing eyes and messed up hair……well, maybe they will. Maybe they will appease me and even let me continue to “hold on tighter” as the plane lands. Life has and will continue to change. But, that recognizable moment that I felt today that measured time back to the others, remains intact…… and I am abundantly thankful for those old travels, grateful for today’s moments and reverently hopeful for the time to create some more memories….maybe with just a little request of some fresher breath along the way.