This is the time to remember, ’cause it will not last forever…These are the days to hold on to, cause we won’t although we want to…
Whenever that song comes on, the kids go wild. “Turn it up daddy!” is what they all scream, even Nora. “Billy Joel!” she says (or more like “Biwwy Jo!”) I’m not entirely sure why they’ve come to love a song that was popular when I was a senior in high school (our senior prom theme, I think.) But love it they do, and I crank it up (as long as they remember to say “Please”) on command.
I haven’t really paid attention to the lyrics over the years, but this past weekend I got a chance to spend a few hours on the road. On that day I drove up to visit Ba (who fell and broke her pelvic bone) and also my cousin’s new baby. A 93 year old and a 3 month old. I ruminated on this while driving back and the song came on my iPod, and the message came through more strongly than it ever had before.
Now, I’ve always had difficulty focusing on the “now” – I’m great with the past and planning for the future, but there’s something in me that has always had difficulty on being in the moment. I think back on my 20’s and the blur of plans made and lost, relationships full of promise and emptied , items sought and discarded. But having kids – and being with them – forces you to slow down, to be present in the moment. Everything for them is immediate and important, the concept of time isn’t fully formed yet. Those are important lessons for an ants-in-the-pants type of guy like myself.
I think the change hit me strongest when I had lunch with a long-lost high school friend recently. She had looked me up on LinkedIn and reached out – turns out she lives in the area, and we hadn’t seen each other in about 24 years. It was great to catch up with her, but she was talking about all that was going on in her life, including branching out on her own professionally. She asked me what was up for me in that regard, and I paused , looked inside myself, and could only come up with that I was content with what was going on right now. Not to say that I don’t have other dreams or aspirations, but right now is where I want to be.
So… yes, this is the time to remember.
Our summer has gone by quickly, more quickly than I had ever thought it could. We had a great time in Florida, and then we came back here for a week and we did a driving trip to Chicago. We spent too-short time with friends in Indiana (the amazing kind that you don’t see often, but time doesn’t seem to pass when you do). Then our time in Chicago was fantastic. The kids surprised us with how flexible they were in terms of sleeping and schedule – the almost 24 hours in the car over 6 days didn’t phase them in the least. (Well, except for that last half hour, but we were all cranky by then.) The wedding itself was absolutely amazing, it took us almost a week to get down from the high. Our speech/song went great – we did a personalized version of the “Lava Song” (from the short that preceded Pixar’s Inside Out). Jyotsna even learned the Ukulele part, but decided to sing rather than play it live. The day after the wedding we also spent a few hours with some dear family friends.
After we got back, A. and S. did a local PRCS cooking camp which they enjoyed. This week I’m going to take all of them to see my parents near Philly. We’re going to go to Sesame place and mom and dad will take them all to the Camden aquarium, I think. J. will have some unaccustomed time away from the kids, which I think she’s a wee bit ambivalent about. And then two more weeks and school starts! Annika will be going to KG, and Savita will be starting a new preschool.
The time is going to change…