Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ticking, ticking

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cart wheels cross to car wheels through the town
And you tell him take your time it wont be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow those circles down
Oh, the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We cant return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game.

(excerpt from The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell)

I took the womanchild to open her first checking account today. She'd made up her mind where she wanted to bank because of two reasons, free student checking and the availability of branches both here and where she wants to go to college. She was so logical, so mature, such the poised young woman. Then she got confused on the availability of deposits, got frustrated and flustered and seemed so little again. She was glad I was there. I don't get that much anymore. She also like the tomato and mozzarella omelette I fixed for breakfast, making this a near record setting day for compliments around this household.

Capture these moments. Hold them tight. Things are changing now so fast.

I was nearly screaming this to myself, while trying to keep my surface cool and do the traditional mom nagging on listening to get your information straight to protect yourself. We went over how to maintain and balance a check book register, the costs, benefits and dangers of ATM cards, internet security for financial transactions. It doesn't seem like all that long ago I remember setting up my first checking account with my father. His instructions were simple -- do your math. C. and I discussed budgeting and planning. I want her better prepared than I was. Heck, she already is. I can be proud of that. I can be proud of her.

I'm just so aware of the contradictory nature of time right now. It's going so fast, and I want to reach out and pluck moments out of the flow. I know I have. In her pre-verbal months, her father, C. and I were all sharing a hotel bed. She was between us, when suddenly she sat up and crawled up to our shoulders. There she sat and place one hand on her dad's face and one hand on mine. There she smiled with the most radiant and complete look of love I have ever seen on any face. That moment stands still. That smile is lasting forever even if no one but me still sees it. That second when her hand reached out for her first checkbook can stand still as well.

I try to remember that when I look in a mirror and realize 60 and 35 are almost equally close, and my face at each age is there with the flicker of a light or the turn of my neck. Those moments are colliding with each other, and I just want to step out of the fray. Here's the trick with time though. Stop it and everything else stops as well, and I do not want a life without change.

So I make time a game, pulling precious memories out like tickling fish from a stream, sifting and sorting to have them make sense, filing and cataloguing so I can see time in the form it presents me. I don't think I know the rules. I don't even really know if there are rules, but I know that time plays games with me, lengthening the nights I can't sleep, speeding up the time I spend with friends, deja vu, filtering the world through another's senile dementia. And if time will play games with me, I can with it.

For today, "Simon Says Freeze!"


Blogger Jod{i} said...

Wouldnt it be....
jus so grand if we could.

I find myself making a point of remembering, and then I fear I have pushed something else out that I tried so hard to keep...

Sigh...but we have today, yes?

August 11, 2007 6:06 PM  

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