snowy bench

Sixty minutes an hour

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

“Okay, now you’re the teacher, and I’m the student.” The next-door girls are over and the kids are playing school in the living room. I’m in the kitchen, eavesdropping.

“But now I want to pretend like I’m 19 years old,” Tate announces.

“But this is third grade. This isn’t high school,” her friend reminds her. They discuss Act Two of their game for a bit, and decide to correct course onward to the teenage years. They’re still in math class, discussing three plus four. But now Tate can walk herself to school because she’s Older.

She’s been like this most of her life, wishing she were older. I remember standing on the balcony of our apartment overseas, discussing her wedding and honeymoon plans. She was four. She also asks me regularly if her latest haircut makes her look older, like ten or something. She’ll be nine in a few weeks.

I was like this, too—in a darn hurry to hurry up with life. In elementary school, I couldn’t wait to walk the halls of middle school. By seventh grade, I was ready for my freshman year of high school. And by junior year, I was mentally decorating my first college apartment.

And of course, you know that by the fourth semester of college, I was wondering who I was going to marry. Those entry-level science classes made it easy to space out and mentally plan my bridesmaids’ bouquets. But first I needed to backpack around Europe, so I’d also pine for the passport stamp and train tickets I was still saving up for.

I didn’t marry right out of college, naturally. I eventually moved overseas, and it’s a good thing I did, because that’s where I met Kyle. But even there, I’d reminisce about the next step—coming home, getting married. I loved cross-cultural life, but I still yearned for the future. You know, for the next thing.

"The future is something  which everyone reaches  at the rate of  sixty minutes an hour,  whatever he does, whoever he is." -C.S. Lewis

During our pre-marital counseling, we predicted we’d wait about five years to have children. Of course, Tate was born a few months after our second anniversary. Because waiting.

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” -CS Lewis

When I became a parent, life started whooshing by much faster. A child is born, I blink, and he’s crawling. I turn my head, and then he’s walking, talking, having opinions. And I hear that it’ll keep happening; that life will continually speed by at an alarming rate. And yet, I still yearn for the day when there are no more pull-ups. When all the kids can read to themselves. When the floors aren’t splattered with the evening’s dinner.

But really? That’s exchanging one gift for another. These days I have now, they are precious and full and they matter, just like the ones I’ll have in a few years. Wishing them away is to miss the beauty right in front of me.

“We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God’s.” -Henry Ward Beecher

Tate’s now playing LEGO, happy to be her age again. Her friends are discussing the benefits of having a household robot. Her younger brother runs into the room, because he has an opinion on the matter, too. The day is glorious, so in a few minutes, I think I’ll kick them out to the backyard, where they play nomads and build forts, and later, she’ll work on her short story about a magical whale who travels in time.

kids on the bridge

May the kids continue to savor today, and enjoy the bounty of their youth. And may I take notes.

What will you savor this weekend?

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Comments

  1. I will savor lots of 1 week old baby cuddles & big sister (a whopping 20 months!) cuddles. B/c the time will come far too soon when they are no longer interested in cuddling their momma. :)

    Great post, per usual. Huge fan of this site.

    • Sounds like we’re in the same spot! I have a now, 1 month old and a 21 month old :) I will be doing much of the same, cuddling my little one, and having a space on my lap for my slightly older “baby” cause she still loves some lap time.

      It’s tough for me to not check my phone, etc when I’m feeding the baby, but it’s the perfect time to soak it all in. It’s like God’s way of helping me slow down and take a mental picture, which is way more important that the ones I put on Instagram! :)

  2. Truth. And I know you know this as did I, but wait until the grandkids arrive!

  3. I am grateful for this reminder again today! I will savor time with new friends, the chance to cook a favorite dish and maybe even do some baking, and my weekly cup of hot chocolate at my local coffee shop. Even though we are still in debt and my chronic pain/fatigue is showing no signs of letting go, and despite my worries about the future. It is so true, but elusive, that the beauty of today could easily be gone tomorrow and tomorrow will bring new beauties and troubles of its own. Thanks!

  4. I will savour where we are. I don’t want time to pass. We are at a wonderful stage and I would like to freeze it in time. As I age, I don’t want time to pass so quickly.

  5. In this season of motherhood with long days (and sometimes longer nights) I can be so tempted to pine for the next season…the next phase. With my second, I’m reminded that the next season is not necessarily easier – just different, with unique challenges and the same temptation is still right there.

    Thank you for the reminder to be savor the beautiful, messy NOW..

  6. Ahhh…I love your recounting of the kids’ play–love those moments when they are so engrossed in play and you can sneak a peak/listen in.

    Early on (when our son was a newborn) my husband and I decided that we would savor each stage and not wish any particular season away. Sometimes easier said than done, but it’s really helped me appreciate all the little things and stay present.

    And today (at least at this moment) I can honestly say that I love having a 2.5 year old!

  7. This is my favorite thing that I’ve read today–SO beautifully written. I love how you capitalized Older in the beginning. Continue to cherish those moments!

  8. I will savor the babyhood of my 11th, and last, child. I will take mental (and physical) snapshots of her exploring and living life to the fullest because I know I’ll never go through this stage again.

  9. I definitely need these types of reminders, daily, because I do get caught up in all that I can’t accomplish on a daily basis with my 4.5 year old. Since he’s my only one, I am his playmate, and sometimes don’t feel in the mood. I’ve gotta keep working on it. Thank you.

  10. I once heard that young children spend their time wishing they were 21 and so do 60 yr old women :)

  11. I was the same way growing up! Only recently have I started to live in the present! :)

  12. Your e-mail hit a resonant note as I realize how fast each day goes, especially after retiring. My children now are adults and have their own lives, living four-six hours away. Now I realize how precious those days were when I had my toddlers and then my teens growing up. Savoring each day and enjoying what God has given to me, makes me feel comforted and at peace.

  13. Sometimes we all need a reminder to be thankful for all the wonderful things we have in our lives. This weekend I am going to savor family time with my sweet boys and just live in the moment!

  14. This lovely post was especially poignant to me as I deal with the same tension daily over savoring our time in England and also missing home and our life there.
    Next year that will be you!

  15. Yep, great post. I will spend some time snuggling with my newborn (1 month old) and take some real time to spend with my husband – it’s my marriage that helps keep me grounded as a Mom and stay focused on what’s before me, rather than looking too far off into the future.

    There are times for the dreaming, but he is great at savoring the present and helping me to do that also. So time with him this weekend apart from our 3 older ones, will bring me back to today.

  16. I always wanted to be older too. But, somewhat ironically, I think I’ve grown out of it!

  17. Always made some plans similar to what you mention since five. It felt good, sometimes mentally seeing yourself as an adult despite despite being a child – and books, they have a way of making children see beyond tomorrow, in a good way.

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