Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Seventeen Hours Later

I awoke with a start and glanced at the clock. 4:18 a.m. I had slept through the night.

I was reminded of when my boys were infants and I would miraculously get a full night's sleep. I would wake with a start then, too, and immediately lean over the bassinet beside my bed to make sure my baby was still breathing.  After the previous night's scare, I forced myself to control the impulse now to sneak into my son's room to check on him. I was fairly certain my motherly concern would not get a very warm reception.

As I lay in bed, my mind drifted back to the evening before. Our day that had begun with a decidedly rough start ended on a high note at the local high school listening to the district bands perform. We sat crammed into the old wooden bleachers of the muggy gym, our knees turned sideways to avoid jamming them into the backs of the people in front of us. Rows of teenagers sat in folding chairs on the gym floor, waiting their turn to play. I scanned the crowd of black pants and white shirts, searching for my son. I finally spotted the side of his head on the opposite side of the room, where he sat, head cocked to one side, focusing on the band that was playing. When it was his band's turn to perform, I marveled like I always do at his steady confidence as his fingers moved to form the right combinations to make the desired notes as he blew into his clarinet. It seemed impossible that just 17 hours earlier my son had been gasping for air and we had been looking at a trip to the emergency room. Here we were now, two proud parents, sitting calmly, albeit uncomfortably, and enjoying the music when a mere seventeen hours earlier we had been scared shitless.

But, that's how life goes, isn't it? Always moving, always changing. Sometimes it's a blessing and sometimes it's a curse.

Sometimes it's just hard to keep up.


  1. Your last few lines reminds me of the words from Tuck Everlasting. Tuck is talking to Winnie and describing how life is like water, always moving, always changing. Believe it or not, there will come a time when life still changes, but certainly slows down.

    1. I used to teach Tuck Everlasting when I taught 5th grade. I love that story! Good to know that life will slow down eventually!


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