I find this time of year to be the most difficult of all the seasons.  The talk of “Back to School” always makes my heart melt into a puddle of sad – but not for the reasons you might think.

I am not bemoaning the end of summer vacation.  Summer is actually really challenging for me with the kids and Dave underfoot while I’m trying to get work done.  I am looking forward to the regular routine and getting everyone out of my office the house again.  And I am not going to miss the summer breezes, because there were none.  It was pretty much hotter than hell for the last few months, with only a precious few “perfect days” sprinkled here and there.  The autumn chill will be a God send.

I dread the change in season because it is a stark reminder of the passage of time.

While Time can indeed be a friend, particularly when it is the only cure for healing or questioning life, I find myself more at odds with its passage each year. Mostly I want to slow everything down so I can accomplish the goals I set for myself  – or even stop time so that I can enjoy the moments that matter.

As I grow older I find myself rarely wanting to speed the clock.  “I can’t wait for….” has become a rare phrase in my vocabulary.   I prefer to savor the anticipation of happy events than rush headlong into them at such speed that I fly through, missing them completely.

And the boys.  I am quite sure that Noah will grow taller than me this year.  And Chase will spend his last 180 days of elementary school – which means I, too, will permanently graduate from that stage of life.  They have reached the age where Time doesn’t make parenting easier.  They already know how to take care of themselves; this next passage of time will find them becoming even more independent and needing me less.  I can wait a long time for Noah to start driving or for Chase to go to college.

But time waits for no one.

When I first had Noah, my mother told me that each year time moves faster and faster – or at least it appears to.  Last I checked there are still 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year.  But she was right.  I find myself asking “where did the day go”, “where did the summer go?”  “where did the year go”?  And the answer is always the same.  It just went.

The best of us will handle it gracefully, even if we want to stomp our feet and howl at the moon.  We will promise to stop and smell the roses more – and perhaps do better for a few days before we jump back on the freight train.  But each year, I think we get a little better at it.  As the boys arrive back home from camp and we look towards the coming year I can feel a pull  — like the reins on a horse – to slow it all down a bit.

Time is finite; I want to use it wisely.

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