I hope to be accurate when I state that, at some point or another, we’ve all had a moment when Time Stopped. If we’re very very fortunate, we’ve had many. More good than bad, and the good so very far outweighs the bad such that no matter how slow time passes during the daily grind, we make up for it during the timeless moments that we get to keep forever.
For me, the first notable moment I could define as ‘frozen in time’ was the evening in which I met the woman who would become the Mother of my children.
Then again when I placed my finger in the palm of the hand of my not-yet-entirely-born Son, and he squeezed it.
Then again when I heard the words, “It’s a girl!” Time stood still for me in those moments. I will never forget them, and I often relive them, at my leisure, when I need to be reminded of my blessings.
Let’s face it, folks, being a grown-up often sucks. There’s the power bill. And the water bill. And tuition. Don’t get me started on college tuition! Car insurance. Taxes. Oy.
During my divorce, time stood still in many very unpleasant ways. To say the least. The point in time at which I saw that thing that made it undeniable that the marriage was over. The time the final paperwork came in the mail, officially marking the record that I was no longer legally married.
I’m not sure why I dealt with that particular piece of USPS so badly. It was just the icing on the mud-and-oil divorce cake. But it was also the final light that shone upon the issue. So be it. We don’t get to choose the points at which time stops.
Yet then happier times came afoot! That first trip to the top of the world, to watch the sunset from what would become our favorite family sunset spot.
Our first fun-filled trip to the beach as what I once considered an awkward trio, but later came to realize is, in our case, the perfect number for our personal equation. To each his/her/their own, and for ours, that denominator is 3.
Time stood still when my Son came to me with the rocky story of how he stood up to a man 4x his size and age in defense of his Father. The fallout from that confrontation was catastrophic, yet the building blocks of it also made concrete my Son’s manhood, in his own eyes far more important than in my own, yet equally in both our sets of eyes as well as those of his sister, who looked upon that confrontation with her own eyes wide open.
Future confrontations of this nature will now be utilitarian. We will rock them. Even if they are rocky or unpleasant, they will be old hats.
Time stood still when my Daughter first came to me with her first girly parts issue. I had, previously, dubbed myself useless in this regard, yet by the grace of Karma and my own ability to suck it up and be a man for whatever my children needed, we did certainly rock that situation and we’re all the stronger and closer for it as Daddy/Daughter/Brother, and as above, were forever concreted by it in ways that lay foundation for years of issues to come. Bring them to us. We will rock them. Even if they are rocky, they will be old hats.
The time now often stands still for us on marked occasions as well as on a daily basis in our daily grind. My children often think, then choose to or not to say, profound things which make me proud, amazed, sad, and enlightened, in ways that both explore the world in which my younglings thrive and in ways the rest of humanity struggles. Humanity will be better for the presence of Ezra and Sophie if only you’ll listen to their wisdom.
Time stands still when I hear Sophie speak of the endless kindness and magic she sees in a world where I, in my aged bitterness, see despair more often than hope. She makes me adjust my own attitude in hope that I may one day have an outlook as hopeful and positive as hers is at her very young age.
Time stands still when I hear Ezra speak to his Sister, “I Love You too, Sis!” in an age where men are viewed as weak for showing affection, in spite of my own assurance that the display of the love of and to those we love as our greatest strength. He makes me proud of the young man he is, who is already a better man than I am at nearly 4x his age.
I am often dismayed at how rapidly time progresses in spite of my stern objections. My Son is no longer the little boy who used to reach out to find me during his nap, so that he may comfortably extend said nap a bit longer with the knowledge that Daddy was still there with him.
My Daughter is no longer the little girl who wore grandiose gowns in honor of her Daddy the King who drove her chariot to dinner and other pleasantries. My Son and Daughter are now a singularly a young Man and a Woman who share in our family as equals in most ways, and as children in ways only seemingly now recreationally. So be it.
Time Stops us when it needs to, and allows us to pass un-chaperoned during times not so critical to our well being. It would seem that Time is more often our friend than our Nemesis, albeit often difficult to tell the difference.
At the core of who I am, and what I am, I am a driver. I am not a passenger. I will guide my own destiny, thank you very much. At the same time, I am a willing and happy journeyman on this joy ride which encompasses the whole of what Ezra and Sophie and myself are as a family unit, and what we will be as a trio, however, anyone may ever define that grouping.
Time can be neither created nor destroyed. We all have a finite amount of time here, regardless of how you measure your beginning, end, content, and/or post-life ventures.
I hope to measure my time here as a mathematical equation which becomes balanced at my last breath. For each day of doldrums and grownup duty, I have countless time stopping moments which are truly how I define myself as a Father, as well as the time I spend with Ezra and Sophie. I honestly believe that it does not matter which belief system you subscribe to.
You get back from the equation what you give to the equation. The longer, and more fruitfully, you expand the equation, the ampler the results from that equation will be.
There is no need to fret about the passage of time because if you’re fortunate enough to have a good many positive and happy time-stopping moments in your life, the math all works out in the end. Fortunate here indeed, and I do not take one moment of it for granted.