Time in a Bottle

What an interesting title to an old Jim Croce song. But it leads me to think about what it would be like if we could stop time. As I get older and I see time marching across my face (to quote a line from "Steel Magnolias"), I sometimes wish I could stop time. On deeper analysis would I really want that? Would any of us want that?

When we are young, we can't wait to grow up and do "grown up" things like staying up later to watch a movie, driving a car, etc. Then we want to live on our own and not have to go by our parents' rules.

When we have children everything changes; it is a pivot point in life. I can remember thinking at each stage of their development, "Oh, if I could stop time right now. I love how cute they are, or the things they are doing, etc." But time keeps moving like the wind. Before long each kid started school and the letting go really begins and time flies even faster. Again, I found myself saying, "Oh, I want time to stop. I don't want them to leave home." Alas, time kept moving on and I proudly watched each child graduate from high school, college and graduate school. Now I see my children and grandchildren growing up even more and time flies even faster.

What's interesting about the time is, in looking back, if time had stopped I would have missed out on so much! If my kids had stayed toddlers (and they were adorable), I would have missed out on them going to school and seeing delightful school programs. If they hadn't gone to school, I would have missed out on the sheer joy and pride of seeing them graduate from high school. If they hadn't graduated from high school, I wouldn't have seen them march across the stage at their respective universities and been bursting with pride as they earned their degrees.

So time is a double-edged sword that cannot be put into a bottle. I see, and can feel, things getting a little stiffer, a few more wrinkles, and definitely more gray hairs. I don't necessarily like the idea that most probably I am well over halfway done with my life. But the other side of the sword is the wonderful joy and delight I have had with time in being a part of my children's life. Would I trade the side of the sword that leads to my end for the good side of my being with my children?
Not on your life! I will be thankful every day that my time/life isn't in a bottle with a cork and treasure the inestimable wonder of seeing them grow and develop and my grandchildren, too.


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