I’m writing this morning, as I often do, from a chair, outside. But instead of my own patio, I’m sitting on the front porch of my parents’ home.
The sun will be up soon. I have my coffee, my words. The sights and sounds are just a bit different than my normal routine.
I’ve been scrolling through Facebook off and on the last two days, reading post after post of back-to-school photos. Most parents lamenting the passing of time. Wishing it to slow down.
I do not.
Even though my days seem to flutter past, more and more quickly, I do not wish for it to change. I do not wish to go back in time to when my daughter was smaller. Or for the current moments to go into slow motion.
I think my daughter has many adventures ahead of her. And I think I have many ahead of me. We can’t have them if we stay exactly as we are right now. And for all the nostalgia I feel about childhood, I wouldn’t go back to my own, or hers. Each new year has brought us to new and better places.
I am sitting on my parents’ porch this morning because they took a little road trip. Just the two of them. I’m here keeping an eye on the dog, and in case my grandmother needs something.
When my mom called to check in last night, there was joy in her voice. The sound of someone who had been exploring. It made me smile.
When I was growing up, we took 4 actual “family vacations” that I can recall. And very rarely do I remember my parents getting away, just the two of them.
When my dad retired last September, this was one of my hopes for him and my mom. That they would take some time, after 39 years of marriage, and just be together. At home, of course, but also away from home. That they would set out on a few adventures of their own.
I know, from my own life experience, the toll that the daily grind takes on a person. And even the ones who love where they live and the lives they lead need a change of scenery every now and then.
Dad is home every day now. And every night. Not something that has always been the case. My grandmother moved in with my parents two years ago. They got a dog last year. There have been many changes to the lifestyle of the people who raised me, and their daily routine.
I’m here. In the house where I spent the last portion of my adolescence. The place I’ve come back to many times when my life has been in shambles.
But it’s different now.
Certainly the aesthetics have changed since I lived here. New paint. New floors. Refinished countertops. An addition built for my grandmother off of my old bedroom.
But that’s not what I feel is different now.
This house used to be a place of schedule. Alarm clocks. Off to work, little time to play.
And now……there is no thermos waiting for my dad to fill and take in his truck for his journey of a thousand miles. The pipe tally books no longer sit on the end of the bar with notes from his day, his work. The alarm clock sits, only telling the time. Very rarely used to awaken anyone. My parents are no longer bound to that clock.
I suppose that is why I don’t wish for my current days to slow down. Because even with all the bittersweet moments, with each day that passes, I’m that much closer to no longer being bound to a clock either.
I want to own time. Not for time to own me.
I’m about to wash out my coffee cup and get ready for work. I will go awaken my 8th grader and drop her off for the first day of a new school year.
And time will own us today.
But not forever.