Monday, September 20, 2010

Time Flies

By Belinda

Sunday: glorious; blue skies and sunshine and just a hint of fall crispness in the air. The house full of the delicious aromas of an autumn feast: turkey; stuffing; squash; corn; peas; mashed potatoes; cranberry sauce; apple pies. The table loaded bountifully for a big family dinner; fourteen of us, aged from four to eighty one.

Six year old William begged for a visit to the park after dinner. Now, there are only so many visits to the park in a lifetime and I would never turn one down lightly, but I said that we'd see, "after dinner."  Fourteen around the table is no light feat after all.

By the end of the meal, I confess, that had William forgotten, I would not have reminded him.  I felt like it was time for a nap. But I knew that it was only a matter of time before he would return! Sure enough, "after dinner," when the dishes were just about done; like a tax collector chasing down an overdue payment, he showed up, with expectant eyes that I wouldn't even try to resist. I could stall a little though!

"Give me 15 minutes to rest," I said, "I will set the kitchen timer on the microwave and when it goes off, we'll go." And I escaped, intending to cherish every second. I sat down in a quiet room, on my own, away from the crowd, and caught up on some new posts on a friend's blog.

Boy, those minutes flew by. I could hardly believe it whenWilliam came to tell me that the bell had run on the timer. And I laughed out loud when I saw a chair facing the microwave in the kitchen.

Pete confirmed that when he walked through a few minutes earlier, William had been sitting in front of the microwave, eyes glued to the digital clock, counting down the minutes. "It's only two more minutes," he said to his dad, not taking his eyes away for a second.

"You'll never guess what Mom has William doing," he said to everyone else, "She's got him sitting in front of the microwave counting down 15 minutes."

"One more minute," called William from the kitchen.

Pete came with us to the park, fantasizing about "fixed" timers; hourglasses through which the sand trickled very slowly.

Two things I know--no matter how long it takes, William will wait--and he will not forget.


Marilyn said...

GREAT boundary-setting example (they are hard to come by) - acknowledging your need, finding a way to serve it without abandoning the whole idea. And how respectful of your boundary line was William!

"There are only so many visits to the park in a lifetime..." hahahaha.....a good reminder.
(Also, I love the photo!)

Belinda said...

Marilyn, we have to negotiate our way through life! :) William is learning lessons on all sorts of levels--including that he can count on a deal being a deal when it comes to Omie. :)