Monday, December 1, 2008

It goes so fast

I don't know why I'm surprised that Christmas is just over three weeks away. It always falls on December 25, unlike Thanksgiving which can be any date as long as it's the last Thursday of November. I think what threw me off was that Thanksgiving seemed to come so late this year. And there wasn't nearly a week's grace period before December first. There wasn't an extra week of shopping or planning or even relaxing. It was Thanksgiving. Then it was Black Friday. Then it rained. Then it was December 1.

Where did the time go?

In a whirl, we got our tree up and decorated because Christmas is (just over) three weeks away. I wanted the kids to remember something of the season before it slipped away, something beyond the rushing and craziness of the holiday.

We found ourselves out on a rainy day yesterday getting ornaments from Valley View and then heading out for lunch at Wegmans(!). Erin was happily overcome by all the ornaments and lights. She spotted a My Little Pony ornament and held it in her hands the entire time. Wouldn't even let the clerk ring it up.

We did enjoy lunch out, and topped the outing off with bakery cookies as large as my hand. What a treat for a child's eyes to see so many sprinkles on an enormous cookie. We prepared to head back out in the rain to get to the car. An older woman was tightening her raincoat and hat about her. She smiled at the girls: Lanie, waiting patiently; Erin, red-faced and tear-streaked from having been told she couldn't have jelly beans.

"It goes so fast," the woman said to me as she looked at my girls wistfully. "My own kids are grown with children of their own. I'm a grandmother. G-R-A-N-D."

Tears almost stung my eyes. It wouldn't be the first time I've felt that bittersweet twist as I watch my babies grow. It won't be the last that I cry over them and their fleeting childhood. This fleeting season.

And here, so close to Christmas I find myself rushing around. Getting gifts. Making gifts. Decorating. Baking. Planning. A recital. A Christmas coffee. A holiday luncheon. Erin getting lost in it all ... she'll be two on the eleventh and there's barely time for a party. Just a cake and us.

It goes so fast.

I carve out the time to slow down and savor ... to admire the lights on the tree ... the feel of my children's tiny hands in mine ... the smell of their hair after a bath ... the close cuddles during a read-aloud. The richness of this season.

I want to say, "Don't close!" to the door that's pushing me from mother to grandmother. G-R-A-N-D. How did I find myself on this side so fast? I pull against the frame. I want to say, "Slow down!" to my little ones who are intent on growing up fast. It's not a race. Savor the days. It goes so fast. Savor the season. It goes so fast.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Just in case anyone wants to point out that Lanie's only six ... Shane has two boys. His oldest is engaged to be married in 2010. I will be a grandmother much sooner than I ever imagined.