I don’t know where my time has gone.
Just a moment ago, truly, I had a houseful of children. They were hungry, and noisy and argumentative and loving. They filled every corner of this place, every day.
Just a split second ago, I was getting ready for Santa. Hiding toys in the attic, sneaking stocking stuffers into every shopping trip, disguising my handwriting as I put their names on those brightly wrapped treasures.
Time moved steadily and solidly for so many years that it lulled me into trusting it. Oh, I felt the speed with which my babies changed from whimpers to words, I did. I knew that time was moving, but I felt that I was born along on that river, carried with my children toward a distant future. Time passed, and my babies grew, but they were still right there beside me, riding the flood. And somehow, for some reason, I let time trick me into thinking that they always would be there beside me. As children. As my very own special ones. As mine.
I didn’t see it when sneaky, conniving time decided to speed up and race along so fast that I never saw it leave. I must have been resting, tricked into closing my eyes, trusting in the steady pace of time’s flow. I must have missed the moment when time rushed by in a swirl of icy wind, carrying my children over the riverbank and into adulthood. I must have looked away, for only a second, but it was too long.
Now I am here, the mother of adults. Hoping to have them all together for a few brief hours at Christmas so that I can beg time to stop, to slow its endless march for just a fragment of a day, to freeze in place for me, just this once.
Before it once again gathers us all in its powerful arms and races away with unstoppable speed, into the night, into tomorrow, into a time when this Christmas feels as if it happened only a moment ago.