“I can’t wait to be a grown up. I don’t have to wake up early for school, and I can go to bed whenever I want.” (- Delaney, six years old.)
Oh, how ignorant I was towards the responsibilities of adulthood and the uncharted essence of time. My oblivion regarding the superficiality of time’s shortness is best noted by my emphasis on “can’t wait.” “I ‘can’t wait’ to grow old, Mom.” …I just “couldn’t wait.”
How wrong I was. Whilst I was hopelessly dreaming of my forthcoming stocking and stilettos, I seemed to ‘not-so’ conveniently forget just how comfortable my red converse were. Amongst my many superficial wishes of turning my motorized Barbie scooter into a “real- life grown up car,” I grew rather unappreciative of the insanely inexpensive gas prices for that pink, pom-pom scooter. I remember impatiently yearning for the start of middle school, remarkably oblivious to the importance of those ‘dog days’ of summer. I now find myself desperately clinging to every remaining second of the season- every remaining starry night, every humid afternoon, every melodious tune of chirping crickets and croaking frogs, every remaining summer sunset. Every. Last. One.
Extraordinary- it’s simply extraordinary to witness how one’s outlook on time can change so rapidly. Since when did pig- tail braids become “baby-ish?” When did my mother’s public display of affection become “embarrassing?” When did playing hop scotch becoming “boring?” I ask you these questions, not in hopes of an answer, but rather, in a rhetorical sense; to demonstrate the agility of growth- the lightning pace of time.
As I sit here – a recent high school graduate and even more appropriately, an unaccustomed, newly- recruited adult, I reminisce over the simplicity of my childhood…The unappreciated beauty of late afternoon naps, the priceless treasures of hand-written lunchbox notes, the ‘imperfect perfectness’ of juvenility; and I am thankful.
I’ve often contemplated a conversation with my six year old self, and after considerable thought and deliberation, I’ve concluded that I would caution myself to cherish each and every moment of youth-being increasingly careful to enjoy the moment…no wishful longing for the past to relive itself; no restless urge to explore tomorrow. I’d encourage myself to simply enjoy today, just the way it is, right at this very moment. Time flies. Don’t wish it away, and thank God for what portion of it you are given… each and every day- young or old. Because one day, you’ll be catching fireflies on a cool, summer night, and the next, you’ll be catching a flight to your college university.
Enjoy the moment.