I know that life is made of individual seconds that add up to a lifetime. But every once and a while I turn around and discover that the years have passed far too quickly. Occupied with the day-to-day ‘stuff’ like cooking meals, shopping, the bothersome task of paying bills, filling the gas tank in the car, life seems to be made up of large blank spots of trivialities.
The other day while my husband and I were out with our grandson, Devon, not doing anything too important, just having a good time going in and out of stores and stopping for a slice of pizza. He’s a fun, playful kid who loves sports. We’d just had a big snowball fight and we stepped into a shoe store to warm up.
We headed to the kid’s department not looking for anything in particular. Devon found a pair of baby booties and he put them on the floor next to his foot. “Look, grandma, see how big my foot is,” he said.
I looked down and we both had a good laugh. There was six years of growth now in his shoes and that bootie looked like it would have fit him a lifetime ago. No more diapers, no bottles; he’s now in the first grade and under supervision he crosses the street without holding anyone’s hand.
How did that happen?
This is a photograph of my son and daughter when they were little. They are now so terribly far from baby booties that I scarcely remember those days when I balanced one of them on my left hip while keeping my right hand free to do household chores.
I look down again at Devon’s foot next to that baby bootie and vowed to savor every second. I did not want to let these days go by aimlessly unremembered
We left the store and hurried along the icy, wintry street heading for the car. Grandpa climbed in behind the steering wheel. He turned the key in the ignition. “Oops, we’re nearly empty,” he said. “I’ll get gas before we drop Devon off.”
I looked over my shoulder at our grandson sitting in the back seat. He had taken a matchbox car from his coat pocket and was pushing the toy across his knee. “I need gas, too, Grandpa,” Devon said.
I closed my eyes and let the moment imprint itself on my mind. How long would this memory be? Two seconds. Perhaps it will only last three, maybe four seconds. I sighed, and then savored again Devon’s little boy voice, “I need gas, too, Grandpa.”