Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States and it boggles my mind.
What happened to 2017? What happened to, I don’t know, the last ten years? Or twenty? Where did they go?
As I approach another birthday (on Monday, if you’d like to know!) I’m noticing a sense of time speeding by.
It’s in the way the nights grew longer, then shorter, then longer again. Or how the hydrangea turned brown and crunchy overnight.
It’s how, when making excuses for not having seen a certain family member in a while, I report that “It’s been a busy summer.” Or, more alarmingly, how, when my Dad asks about the bunnies that are all over my living room, I reply, “I haven’t taken down the Easter decorations yet.”
My sister scoffs and clucks, “Do you know today is Thanksgiving?”
Well I do, sis, and yet I don’t. The whirl of days leaves me in a Schrodinger-esque state, never knowing for sure how far we’ve come, and frankly a little afraid to find out.
How can it be that the important milestones in life are so immediate, and yet so far away? Soon Sam will be ten and three quarters. Soon after he’ll be 18 and striking out on his own. And after that? I dare not contemplate it.
I don’t mean to sound like one of those moms. “Enjoy every minute, because before you know it, it’ll be over!” This isn’t even about my kid, although his growing up is often the most obvious symptom of the speeding up of things.
His growth is almost perceptible, as if I’m riding in H.G. Wells’ time machine and he’s standing just outside, sprouting hair in unexpected places, his legs lengthening and shoulders broadening until he is a caricature of the baby I made.
And me, in my youthful clothes, getting my hair dyed unicorn colors and going to the gym three times a week. Who am I kidding?
Only myself, I imagine. But where’s the harm in that? As Thoreau put it, “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” And I am nothing if not enthusiastic.
So come at me, 2018. And 2019. And 2020. Do your worst. I am a child, a debutante, a blushing bride, a proud mother, a menopausal whirlwind, a woman of a certain age. I will meet you at my best, even if I don’t know which holiday it is.