Time is a funny animal.
It's so impossible to understand just what it is and how it works. Sure, humankind has been trying to get it to fit inside of our many types of boxes since,
the creation of man.
(I was going to say since the beginning of time... but you probably see the irony and the indefinable nature of that phrase.)
The passage of time and the marking of time in our lives is crazy too. I think it's safe to say that we all understand what someone means when they talk about time speeding up or slowing down and how real the velocity of time feels in our everyday lives. Even though the neat clocks and calendars that we've created seem to break it down fairly simply, time just resists obeying the confines of those boxes. Time is much more flexible and elastic and fluid and... evasive.
In my own life, it seems like just when I feel that I am living in the present, and that I am totally appreciating my life for all that it is right now...
just when I feel like I am really here, really now...
something happens that knocks me off track and makes me wonder:
Have I really been
Have I really been
Last week I had one of those moments where I was thrown off track. I went to take a loaf of homemade bread to one of our neighbors. Audrey wanted to go with me, so while the two of us were dropping the loaf off, my friend asked if Audrey would like to stay for a while and play. (She has a daughter that is just a few months older than Audrey, they are in the same Sunday School class.) Audrey seemed like she wanted to, and I made sure to try and communicate to her that she was staying and I was not, that I would leave her there and come back later to get her.
Verbally, she said okay.
But non-verbally she seemed apprehensive - she was tugging on my hand, trying to pull me into the room to play.
I had to explain what was going to happen a few times, just to make sure she understood, and then I took my hand out of hers, her little friend, Allison, grabbed her other hand and began to lead her upstairs.
Then I walked home by myself. That's when it hit me. My little girl - who is clearly strong-willed and independent, is turning into a big girl.
Not only was that the very first time she's ever been left alone with someone not related to us (besides church classes), that was the first time she's been invited over to a friend's house to play!
As I walked back home, I was thrown off track and into a world where I couldn't help but imagine all of the other play times, all of the other slumber parties, all of the parties, and dances, and Proms... that are all just looming somewhere beyond the edge of tomorrow.
I went to pick her up about an hour later. She was reluctant to leave - she was having so much fun with Allison!
Later, we went to a nearby park so that Luke and Audrey could run around and play. And I re-committed to stay in the present moment, as best as I can, so I can really enjoy moments like this:
I want to make sure that I do all that I can to be in the moment with my kids and experience the joy and wonder that is the essence of childhood discovery. I don't want to get to some future day where I am filled with regrets about wishing I would've played more, or talked more, or laughed more with my kids.
Because it's memories like these:
seeing my family run toward each other, laughing and smiling, and playing, that make my life so blessed and happy.
The love that we share. That is what matters most. I love how Elder Uchdorf recently put it:
"In family relationships
is really spelled