First Days Never Get Easier

A collage of

A collage of past “first days” (photos by Julia Ozab)

Today, Julia and I sent Anna off on the school bus for her first day of fourth grade. Each year I think it will get easier, and each year I’m wrong. It never gets easier. If anything, it gets harder as we watch her grow up before our eyes. Year after year, photo after photo. It all happens too fast.

Why is that? Why do the days and the years rocket past for us? Why is she in such a hurry to grow up while we want it all to slow down so we can hold on to each moment just a little bit longer before it goes?

Is it because she grows more noticeably? Or because we don’t want to face how we’re getting older, but can’t deny that she’s growing up? Or is it because a year for us who’ve lived for many seems so much shorter than for those who’ve lived before?

Michael Stevens at VSauce (one of my favorite YouTube channels) has an interesting take on the last question. Perhaps it has to do with how we naturally perceive time. (Warning: Math ahead!)

(Go back to 2:07 for some background on additive vs. logarithmic counting, or to 0:00 to see people with too much time on their hands).

So if this is the case, and we who have passed the “middle age” of 9(!) can only look forward to our subsequent years racing past us faster and faster until their inevitable end, is there anyway at all for us to slow the rushing train down just a bit?

Yes.

So if you want to slow time down a bit, go out and do something new. It’s the novel experiences that stick with us and make for richer memories and fuller lives.

I can think of someone that makes my life a whole lot fuller than it would be. Someone who helps me see the world through fresh eyes and re-experience familiar things with a new sense of wonder.

Someone who keeps me young.

Anna's first day of fourth grade

2015

And as always, thanks for reading!

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Something Else I Want Anna to Know About My Mom

My Mom

In September of 2011, on the second anniversary of my mom’s passing, I wrote a post titled What I Want Anna to Know About My Mom. In it, I talked about several things I remembered—her laugh, her singing, her dancing, her sense of humor, her generosity, and her faith—and that I wanted my daughter to know too.

Well today’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “What Mama Did.” My first thought was “well I wrote that already, can’t I just re-post it?” But instead I decided to try to think of one more thing; something that I missed a year and a half ago.

Then it hit me. My mom loved to read.

“Ever since I was a kid,” she said. “I always had my nose in a book.” It was still true for as long as I could remember. She read every day. And our house was always filled with books. Shelves of them in every room, and boxes of them in storage.

Ask my wife Julia, she and I helped my dad sort through them all after she passed away.

I got my love of reading from my mom. My dad reads quite a bit too. He still reads the paper every morning and will pick up a book if the subject strikes his interest. But my mom was always reading. Only at the end when she began get lost inside her own mind did she slow down and finally stop.

That was hard to see.

But I don’t focus on that when I think about her. Instead I think of all the books she read, all the books she wanted to read, and how she passed her love of reading on to me.

A love of reading that Julia and I share, and have passed on to Anna as well.

Five Minute Friday