Time passages


The 65o temps today prompted this entry in my journal.





As my children grow, I tend to observe with a curious fascination, the numerous life events and rites of passage that pass by.
Some fall into the “first” category: birthday, steps, words, boyfriend (I’m still having a small crisis with that one).
There are so many milestones we consider to be noteworthy and memorable that we sometimes miss entirely the more subtle ones.
The passage of time blends seamlessly with the ebb and flow of our all-too-busy lives.
I think of my life 20 years ago, astonished by the incredible changes in my life.

It was a spring day much like today when my wife and I decided to take down the swing set in the backyard.
No one was using it anymore and it made mowing the lawn a royal pain in the keester.
We’d put off taking it down for several reasons; some we talked about while others we cautiously avoided. Ironically, the day we took it down the girls were all off doing their own thing which left us alone with one long-forgotten yard ornament and our own thoughts.
With every bolt I removed and every board I cut, memories of our girls flooded my overly sentimental mind. I could feel the chilly autumn days, see the falling golden leaves that I would rake to the bottom of the slide (an irresistible thing for a child) and hear the constant squeak of the middle swing that I never oiled while performing my role as the everlasting swing pusher. Higher, daddy, higher…
With every push, little did I know I was slowly moving past those bittersweet moments in time.
I realize that now. Sad.

There wasn’t much in the way of conversation between my wife and me that day.
We were on automatic, like most days. Get something done, move on.

I said, “I remember when it was just Sas and me on the swing. Where the hell has the time gone?”

I was just trying to make small talk, make things a bit less uncomfortable than they were actually feeling. I noticed my wife had her back turned away from me.
She was crying. And it was all my fault.


“Are you okay?” I said.


“No. I’m not. Everything’s changing,” she said, “…they’re growing up… and it makes me sad. That’s all.”


I said, “That’s what children do, dear. They’re only ours for a little while. And right now, they're happy.
It’s only a stupid swing set anyway. Let's get it done.”


I gave her a long hug and we returned to the task at hand, comfortably silent in our own sentimental thoughts.

Maybe my lawn will look ok this year. Yeah, right…






6 thoughts on “Time passages

  1. You know I sat and lamented all the ‘lasts’ that occur in a child’s life at some point, even wrote about it somewhere, but can’t for the life of me remember where! Anyway it’s hard as a parent to let go of our children, no matter how small a step that is. For me it’s allowing Zoe to brush her own teeth, or choose her clothes, tomorrow it will be her first slumber party or boy in her room. I sit and try and remember some of the ‘lasts’ and it’s hard. Last BF, last nappy, last nap during the day…..just as important as the firsts I think.


  2. Sweet story. Makes me think of my swing set in the back yard. I wonder if my parents had those same thoughts when it had to come down. Gosh as a kid, you never think about how your parents are feeling about something. At least I didn’t. I just went about my business of growing up.


  3. Sort of like my husband’s discovery of some old Star Wars toys.

    I got a kick out of imagining a much younger version of him running around the house, making a racket with the toy’s laser sounds, and ultimately, his mother yelling, “Go play outside.” Hee.


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