The Long and Short of It

The Long and Short of It

I stepped into The Boy’s room the other day, hours after he’d boarded the bus for school.

I love being in that room.

That sweet little place where my son dreams. The same room where just seven years ago, I’d sit and rock in the wee hours of the morning. Did all his dreaming for him.

Sang him quiet songs of longing. Songs first penned to express a romantic love, I suppose, though in my mind, they summed up perfectly how my heart would ache if that little boy and I were ever separated.

Moon River. Wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style, someday. Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, wherever you’re going I’m going your way …

Mattie's 1st Nursery

I made his bed, put some books back on his shelves, and began to close the closet doors, when I caught a glance at the various lines we’ve drawn on its frame over the years: 1 year, 18 months, 2, 3 … all the way up to the latest, which is at about 3/4 my height. And I asked myself …

Where has the time gone?

I celebrated my own birthday on Sunday. I love marking that day each January. Aging doesn’t bother me a bit—I truly think life keeps getting better—but it does stun me for a moment when I recall like it was just yesterday the days when I was growth-chart little.

I remember running up my mother’s driveway one summer afternoon when I was probably about 4 or 5 and watching my shadow as I ran. Short and happy pigtails bouncing, dashing from my grandparents’ home to my own. Content.

Then years later watching that same shadow sauntering up that well-worn route. A teenager on my way back to a good book after helping my grandmother with a small task or enjoying a quick conversation.

And now—years later—I’m watching as my own son grows, as he passes—all too quickly—from that tiny baby boy who needed me for everything to a little man who’s already planning all the things he’ll be when he grows up.

How does it all happen so quickly? How can we become car-drivers and husbands and wives and bill-payers and homeowners and parents when we can still so clearly remember how it felt to get our

first kiss

first car

first job

first apartment?

They say the days are long but the years are short, and boy, they weren’t kidding.

I’m just trying to soak it all in as I go …

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