Waiting is the hardest thing a child can do. It’s hard enough for adults, especially those of us who struggle with patience. For kids, any wait is interminable.
I think it’s because they measure time by their very brief life. Weeks, months, and years crawl past you when you’re five or six. Even nine or ten. I remember how it felt waiting all year until my next birthday—at the end of November—and then another thirty days to Christmas. That one month wasn’t too bad, but then I had to wait eleven more months to get to my next birthday. I was in a hurry to grow up and it seemed to take forever just to get from one birthday to the next.
I know Anna feels the same way. Her mid-January birthday is only three weeks after Christmas. She just turned nine and she’s in as much of a hurry to grow up as I was.
I tell her to wait. And enjoy being a kid while it lasts. She doesn’t get it. Like me, she won’t understand until she’s an adult, and not really understand until she’s a parent.
To me, time is racing past. One year after the next in a blink and a breath. She was a baby, then she was going to school, and now she’s one all-too-short year away from being ten.
I want to tell the world to wait. I want to tell the clocks to wait. I want to scream “wait” to God and all his creation.
But no matter how much I yell, the clock ticks forward. She thinks it’s dragging along. and I think it’s hurtling forward. She wants it to hurry up and I want it to slow down.
And yet it moves. Sixty seconds per minute. Sixty minutes per hour.
It hurries for no one. It stops for no one. And all I can do is savor each moment as it comes.