It's Sunday Confessions time again. Head over to More than Cheese and Beer to read the rest of the contributions!
Time is a relative concept.
To each person, the same 5 minute span will feel differently. And to me, each facet of my life feels differently despite the same amount of years passing.
In quiet moments at home I watch my son reading a book with his long hair nearly covering his eyes relaxing under a blanket accompanied by at least 2 dogs and 1 cat despite the rising temps in South Georgia and I wonder where the years have gone. It must be that way for every parent. Things will settle down for the day and with one quick glance you realize how much your child has changed in what seems like the blink of an eye. Evan is taller. The roundness of his face has lessened. His fingers no longer have that toddler chubbiness. He has, suddenly it seems, developed his own wise-ass glances that make me squint my eyes in both amusement and exasperation. He's less and less a little version of his father and more a version of his own self. It seems like just a few months ago that he was tired of the alphabet and clumsily instructing me not to antagonize him over his ABCs. But, in reality, that was nearly 5 years ago. Now, at 8, he's reading 5th and 6th grade level books and reading me the passages he thinks are quite humorous. He's obsessed with Star Wars and Adventure Time instead of Zaboomafoo and Curious George. In the blink of an eye, he no longer qualifies as my baby.
When his dad comes to pick him up, it feels like it has been decades since we were married, ages since we were struggling to make things work and fighting every day over even the most mundane situations. In reality it has been the same 5 years worth of time since I was antagonizing Evan over the alphabet, but the feel of it is entirely different as if it happened in another lifetime to another woman. In many ways, I suppose it did.
It's something else entirely to think of my friendship with Robert. We've written letters for nearly 7 years. Sometimes it seems like forever or at least forever as I know it. Sometimes it seems like the blink of an eye. With his execution date looming ahead on May 21, every day seems to hurtle closer and closer like a speeding train threatening to barrel into me full speed. But the periods between letters pass excruciatingly slow. I find myself counting down the days between when I can expect the next letter getting frustrated that it has only been 4 or 5 since I last emailed or sent mine out yet each day brings him closer to execution and the overall time seems to pass so quickly.
We like to think of time as this definitive construct, and indeed, 1 minute on the clock is the same number of seconds every time. But the essence of time, the way it feels to each of us as it passes, the way 4 a.m. all of a sudden appears when we're up late and enjoying ourselves, can't be measured mathematically. It doesn't matter that the same number of seconds, minutes, hours, or days in a stretch because no matter the math, it's going to feel the way it feels. All we can do is sit back and enjoy the ride.