And the years, where do they go? The pandemic has disrupted the sense of time throughout the world. Just Google “time during covid” – go ahead. You have plenty of time. Some people experience a quickening while others a drag. Enjoying the long Midwest summer day in Chicago which allowed walks at 9:00 at night, I suddenly realized one evening that it was darkening at 8:30. I was astounded when I realized the date was late September.
Privileged to be retired and financially secure, I have used this time to develop new skills, address physical therapy, read, and spend time with my Chicago family. I have missed the boys’ summer completely with no frantic pleas from them to return home. This is a truth: I am no longer needed as I was six years ago.
We invited ED and the boys to share our house for two key reasons. First, to get the boys into a good school district, as Arizona schools go. Second, to assist with child care around ED’s work schedule which included a significant amount of travel. Sharing the house meant that no one was displaced when ED was gone—we were all at home.
When my girls were young, a dear aunt commented that raising children meant the days were long and the years short. How true. Any parent who has been confined with young children dares the clock to move ahead and mourns as the calendar pages fly. Each milestone is met with dismay: the first day of school, first day of high school, driving, high school graduation. Where did the time go?
We planned this shared arrangement for 15 years, the 15-year flip. That would allow the boys to keep this home through college, which was important for ED. As the time approaches, though, the expectation relaxes. There is a question if Mowgli will attend college or leave home for that matter. Blue Boy would be fine wherever we are. ED is no longer traveling, and we are retired and could easily stay with the boys if needed. It is no longer necessary to share a home.
It seems to have happened overnight. Why, after a lifetime of milestones, am I astounded?