Time ...

My mother, proudly 89 years old, just got done putting up her storm windows, preparing her flower bed for winter, and making enough chokecherry jam to last all her relatives until well into next season. My brother, I and our two families sat around her kitchen table. She worried that all that food wouldn't be enough (yeah, maybe for the 165th regiment).

She noticed that Daylight Savings Time will be coming around again on October 29. She said, "I can't keep up with the time."

I used to have to wait for time. When I was a young boy, my clothes always seemed too small and I was growing, but never fast enough. I wanted to be the star athlete, be allowed to stay up later at night, be allowed to get a driver's permit, be allowed to ... to do whatever young people want to do but have to wait for time to pass.

Later in life, it flip-flopped. Time seemed to pull ahead. I was dating, then suddenly I was married. Time may have passed, but suddenly I was going to be a father. The special day was anticipated, but still seemed to jump across the calendar. I was barely used to having an infant who required diapers and a bottle, and it grew overnight and started climbing up to the cabinets and preparing for kindergarten. Someone hit rewind and fast forward, because suddenly I had another child and its growth seemed even faster than the first. The first was in elementary, getting ready to graduate from high school. I could not keep up with time.

The mirror was another thing stuck on fast forward. It, too, had something against me. The boyish looks that I wanted to grow manly and heroic did grow that way ... but I must have blinked. A man who has grown older by raising children now stares back at me.

I have seen friends move away, or I have regretfully moved away from them. I have lived through the passing of a parent, of two of my own children, and of others dear to me. I have seen beloved pets grow old and pass away. Time does not heal all things, because it never stays around long enough.

The rest of my children are growing up. To them the clock is standing still. They want to grow up and move onward. Eighth grade graduation will not come soon enough. That driver's license seems years away. High school graduation seems like an eternity. Being on their own and proving that parents don't know what is best, well, that will never completely come true. Their clocks will also flip-flop. Everything will zip by. They will suddenly become their parents.

My mother has reached the second flip-flop of time. She does not show her age. She has decided not to slow down. Instead the clock does that. Her children may be older, but her grandchildren take their place as far as the clock is concerned. It has backed up to include them as the youngsters waiting for the clock to hurry up and go forward.