Friday, December 31, 2010

My sentiments exactly

It's not often that I read an article in the Toronto Star that puts a tear in my eye, in a sentimental way that is:)

This morning I was searching out the crossword and intrigued by the title "I resolve to stop time from flying", I stopped. This is such a wonderful story and embodies all that I feel in my own life right now. I really wanted to share this with all of you.

Many thanks to Vinay Menon for sharing his sentiments about time flying. It is also my biggest resolution for the New Year.
Stop time from flying....

Here is Vinay's column from The Toronto Star, New Year's Eve - Friday, December 31, 2010.

"It is Sunday night, just after 11 p.m. when I hear a pitter-patter of footsteps descending the basement stairs.

I glance toward the landing and see Charlotte, one of my 4-year-old twin daughters. Bedecked in princess pajamas, clutching her beloved Ariel doll, she pauses, spots me on the couch and then runs toward my outstretched arms.

“Why aren’t you in bed?” I ask, swooping her into my lap. “You should be sleeping.”

Charlotte smiles and crinkles her face, as if to buy some time before offering an explanation that never comes.

“I opened the gate and came down all by myself!” she says, with the breathless enthusiasm of someone who has just conquered Everest. “The hallway was dark but I wasn’t scared. Do you know why?”

“No,” I say, trying and failing to sound stern. “Why?”

“Because I’m a big girl!”

It breaks my heart but it’s true: In 2010, my babies turned into big girls.

One day, when my wife and I were too frazzled to notice, it just happened.

The girls started zipping up their coats. They started writing their names. They started opening the fridge. They started buckling their car seats. They started getting dressed on their own.

They started needing us less.

Is it really New Year’s Eve? Already? Wasn’t it just Halloween? And how did Christmas zoom past this month in a virtually undetectable blur?

Fatherhood, I fear, is distorting my sense of time.

The year in review? Okay, here’s what happened this year: The real world slowed to a crawl as my personal world spun wildly off its axis.

The Olympics, the iPad release, the G8/G20 summits, the BP oil spill, the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the Toyota recalls, the harmonized sales tax, prorogation, World Cup, Tiger Woods’ exit, Conan O’Brien’s return, the Chilean miner rescue, America’s health care reform, the British election — all of these events seem like a lifetime ago.

But the girls’ first day of kindergarten, I swear to you, it happened five minutes ago. They were in highchairs yesterday, I’m sure of it. Now they’re unwrapping bicycles from Santa. Weren’t they in cribs last month? Now they’re doing somersaults and cartwheels? They were just speaking in fragmented code and now they are regaling us with descriptive expositions about their friends and teachers and school, and why does my personal year in review feel so achingly fleeting?

I’m not one for resolutions. But with 2011 nearly upon us, I must find a way to correct this accelerated time-space continuum. I must find a way to stop the hours from turning into minutes. I must prevent the weeks from turning into days so the months stop vanishing with a blink of my eye.

After you have kids, does the Gregorian calendar ever return to normal? Or is this the new normal? Will the real world continue to slow down as my personal world makes me dizzy with its blinding speed?

Back to the basement, back to Sunday night.

I rise from the couch, carrying my big girl. I get ready to walk upstairs, where another big girl and their mother are sleeping.

But Charlotte attempts to defer this second tuck-in attempt. She buys more time by pointing at a picture perched on a bookshelf.

In the 2004 photo, my wife and I are sitting on a marble bench, in front of a reflecting pool as the Taj Mahal gleams in the background.

“Where am I?” Charlotte asks.

“You were not born yet,” I say.

“Where is Ava?” she asks.

“She wasn’t born yet, either,” I say. “That picture was taken a long time ago when Mommy and I went on an airplane to see another country.”

“Are you scared of the dark hallway?” she suddenly asks.

“No,” I reply. “It’s not scary.”

“Daddy, I also don’t think it’s scary!”

“Because you’re a big girl?”

“Yes, because I’m a big girl.”

Charlotte looks at the picture again and sweetly taps my chin. Then unable to wrap her head around the “not born yet” concept, unable to make sense of time in her personal world, she asks a question.

“Did you miss us?”

“Yes,” I say."


  1. It is true, so true. Readin a perosnal journal from years past, even months or weeks, has the effect of time spinning out of control. Just to sit and breathe, and to notice the moment is illusive and also so simple.
    Thanks for also bringing a tear to my eye.

    tante d

  2. Life is a gift of so many seemingly ordinary moments that in hindsight we realize are so special. I have so many of those moments with you Leslie. When we were newly married, the dances, pizzas, special 'finds' by the roadside, making the most of everything and enjoying every minute. The children, the homes, the visits, the vacations. And all the phone calls and chats. Just our conversation yesterday.....There is so much more to come...Life is good and so are you my love.

  3. Well, Leslie, what can I say as I dread the day my little girl goes off to University. It is truly amazing that it seems like yesterday when she was little and now ready to leave the nest.

  4. It's so, so true. News events from the 1980s and 1990s -- heck, even from the past few years -- are so distant, but the memories of Rob's first day of kindergarten, for example, are exceedingly sharp and in focus. Time is a weird, weird thing I will never truly understand.

    I love the photograph you chose to illustrate this post. Charming and oh-so-sweet.

  5. This is so true--frightening, staggering the flight of time. And yes, of our little boys and girls becoming big boys and girls.