Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where Hath The Time Gone (And Why Am I Using Words Like Hath)?

Increasingly I am beginning to feel my advanced 34 years of age. The month of May has given me heart issues, that mysterious popping sound in my leg heard ONLY when I go up a flight of stairs and now yesterday’s events. Lucy and Ethel graduated from Kindergarten. I realize that apparently some people don’t view the completion of kindergarten as something worthy of a graduation ceremony (hi Mom), so I will rephrase that to say Lucy and Ethel completed Kindergarten with honors. Yes, I added the honors part. This all means that effective this morning, I can now say that I am the father of two first graders.

Here’s the rub: I don’t want to be able to say that. Not because it makes me feel old, unlike the effect of having two open-heart surgeries or falling asleep in the recliner before 9:30pm every night, but because I am not ready for my little ones to grow up. It also isn’t made any easier by the fact that they are now easily more mature than I am. I know that a lot of the people who read this blog have kids older than 5 and I honestly don’t know how you have watched your children grow up without immense sadness that renders you immovable. Unless of course that’s just me, in which case I made that part up. I feel fine. Solid as a rock. There’s just something in my eye.

I can see an end to the days where they want to sit and watch TV with me, want me around all the time and try to emulate me, except for saying ‘that’s what she said,’ because they have gotten very good at doing that. Don’t get me wrong because at the same time I am getting all wistful and sad, I am also feeling immense pride about how grown up they’ve become. It’s very Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jeykll, or is that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? See what it’s doing to me! I will admit though that it’s a little odd to be put in check and told what not to do by a 5-year-old, but they are smart enough now to realize what is appropriate and inappropriate in public settings. For the record, sticking elongated food items in your ears while at a restaurant or singing ‘Yellow Submarine’ on the edge of a public fountain is not appropriate. Nor is picking Lucy and Ethel up and playing them like guitars when I drop them off at school or try to sing along in a falsetto voice to all of their Disney movies. I could keep going on with examples like these, but I’m starting to think they don’t paint a good picture of me.

After a two month break Lucy and Ethel will enter the first grade and join the other salmon swimming up the stream of public education. Though salmon die at the end of that trip, right? Hmmm, that may not be the best analogy here. Well, I’ve got the next several years of public education to work on a better one. For now, the girls will be out of the house for almost 8 hours a day. And I’ll finally be able to set up my hammock in the back yard and, wait, I’ll be at work for all that down time so it really won’t be down time for me at all. Ok, I’m not wistful anymore. Now I’m just mad. For the first time since 2002 my little girls will be out of the house long enough to do whatever I wish, like play the Wii with no interruptions or eat my Tillamook cheddar without having to share and I will be busy working. Wait, I don’t want to do those things without my girls. They are my little best buddies. The proverbial Gilligans to my Skipper. The Robins to my Batman, the Barneys to my Andy, the C3POs to my R2D2, the Pips to my Gladys Knight, the Hillarys to my Obama…Ok, I’ve now officially taken the comparison thing too far. But now I’m wistful again.

A few years back, I wished that we could freeze one of the twins between the 1-3 age mark and let the other one grow up so we could have the best of both worlds. I now realize that’s not a good idea because carbon freezing almost killed Han Solo and that might bring some unjustified and unwanted attention to me, not mention the unavailability of that technology. Also and perhaps more importantly, I would not have gotten to experience the growth and maturity of both Lucy and Ethel. So, I am just going to try and enjoy each phase of their lives no matter how sentimental it makes me for all the phases and milestones they will continue to pass. But since they still giggle at the word ‘toot,’ I hoping maybe I’ve got a little more ‘kid’ time left than I thought.

Now, why the heck can't I get 'Cats In The Cradle' out of my head?

I just read that Harvey Korman passed away. Watching him crack up at Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett Show was a part of my childhood (in reruns of course) and it still cracks me up whenever I see it...


Anonymous said...

I used to wish that I could just save a right-now day, not live it today, but somehow keep it to enjoy instead, some day maybe 10 or 15 years in the future. In the absence of anybody's ability to do that, if you write down representative events and comments (and do promise yourself, and keep that promise, that you will never embarrass the little ones in the future with these bits of evidence), I can guarantee you that when you look back, years from now, you will have forgotten some of them--but will love reading them. It's the next best thing I know of to freeze-drying the day, and, as you say, that isn't practical.

citizen of the world said...

It just goes faster and faster. There are other great phases ahead, but it doesn't reduce the wistfulness you feel about watching them grow up.

But, I have to tell you, reading "my advanced 34 years of age" made me want to hurt you.

Sizzle said...

I love the word toot. It makes me giggle. TOOT!

Here's a tissue...for that something you got there in your eye.

Mel Heth said...

Sizzle took the words right outta my mouth (err fingers).

Wait 'til the girls find twin brothers to marry. Did Jan and Marsha do that...?

Eva said...

:) about that sweet post - I'll bet your First Grade Girls will knock your socks off with treasured moments


:( about Harvey Korman - I have the same memories and I CRY with laughter every time I see those guys in reruns or Carol Burnett specials/documentaries. Now I want to watch a Carol Burnett story. And I need a tissue.

Selma said...

I use words like hath, doth, and methinks all the time. Hehehe. And I, at 43, can tell you time goes too quickly and it's not without some degree of sadness that I realise my lovely boy will be turning 12 in two weeks. Pat's idea is a fantastic one. I did it up until a couple of years ago and it is hilarious reading the journals and remembering all the funny sayings and anecdotes. Please give the two graduates a big hug from me!

Amy said...

Oh how I wish I could freeze time. Take this moment in my life and keep it forever. I am having a hard time with my little ones growing up too. Our oldest will graduate Kdg. in a week...he'll be a first grader too...all day long. I cried yesterday when I read a note his teacher sent went by all too fast! Make it slow down a bit!

cmk said...

You will understand the passing of time a whole lot better when your girls turn 30. My oldest just did. Surprisingly, I DIDN'T feel all that old on the day. HMMMMM. Must be senility creeping in! (And I am not old. I was a child bride of an arranged marriage and gave birth to my first at the ripe old age of 5. I'm sure you read about it--it WAS in ALL the papers! :D)

Congrats on the graduation and hug those little ones just a little longer while you can. They won't put up with it much longer--unfortunately. :)

TroyBoy said...

Me thinks the lad doth wist too much.

Except I can't say that with any validity, because what with my oldest being 4, I am right there with you!

Patti said...

I am one of those old folks who isn't senile yet, so can still enjoy blogging.

Our baby will graduate from high school in a couple of weeks then he will officially be a college freshman. And our daughter will be a junior. Yikes!
I understand the wistfulness you are feeling, and it continues into your children's teen years...

Lucy and Ethel have one fun dad, that's for sure!

I also love Harvey Korman and Tim Conway. I watched them in real time, not reruns. Ah, the good old days.

Patti said...

P.S. And I love Harry Chapin. Saw him in concert twice, and even got a kiss from him when he signed a T-shirt for me.

Really. ;-)

Carrie said...

Mmmm... well, congrats to your 2 honour students. Here's hoping there will be more of that!

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh Micheal.

This was a beautiful(and funny)post.

You brought me back to the days when my own child Graduated from Kindergarten.I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through.

And for the record...

Here's hoping the twins remain 'honor students'. With a father like you, I have no doubt they will do well in life.

*Not to freak you out, but I just wanted to warn you...the 1st time they get on a school bus, will cause this same sort of feelings to stir up inside.

FRIGGA said...

I remember the first time my oldest niece told me she was too big for me to pick her up anymore. Now they're all too big. Such as life - maybe I'll have my own babies someday. :)

Oh and super congrats on the graduation!!!!

Happy Rockin' Friday! :)

Heart Of Darkness said...

Thou shant use thy word - and thy word be hath. Ye of little faith...

...Holy Grail! :)


magickat said...

Awesome post. You sound like such a rockin' dad. Your whole unit seems like one lucky bunch (that's what she said).

And it is sad about Harvey. He was such a talent.

Cheryl Lage said...

Doll, I go way too long without commenting (but fear not, I visiteth often...), but with our twins preparing to matriculate to first grade upon kindergarten completion in two weeks, I feel your wistfulness fully.

Our two still pile into our bed in the morning (only after the clock says 7-0-0, thank you very much), and I rue the day (how's that one?) when they no longer wish to partake in the full-family pig-pile as much as their Daddy and I do.

Your Lucy and Ethel are blessed to have you as their dad. :)

Yet again, our families' tastes coincide...I thought my beloved would weep openly when the ticker announced Harvey's passing. Whenever our kids drop things, we tend to say "You dropped your beads," his throwaway line in Blazing Saddles that cracks us up everytime. God rest him. He won't need a shit***d of dimes where he's heading. R.I.P., HK.

Odat said...

If 34 is an "advanced age" I must be ready for a nursing home!!!

First graders???? are old.

Lucy and Ethel are two lucky kids to have you as their father. Imagine what memories they'll have when they do get older. Keep up the good work, Methusela!


Ralph said...

As Patti noted, our Kid2 graduated HS in two weeks. Time does fly.

Our daughter, Kid1, was born when we were 34. The bittersweet occurs now for us for the great formative years with our kids. You shouldn't wish to freeze time, just be there when needed by the twins. You have so much to show them and values to teach. It gets better and better as you see them grow and learn...

"That's Hedly Lamar!". Love Harvey in Blazing Saddles!