Greater philosophers than I have spent eons pondering the elusiveness of time. One of my favorite thoughts is this one:
“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”-Dr. Suess
Saul and I packed up the family for a quick road trip to Wisconsin. Twenty hours in the minivan (10 each way) loaded down with three kids, 47 suitcases and 12 bags of snacks. The only thing we left at home was the dog.
We were on our way to my niece’s graduation party. This is the same sweet young lady who has been under constant supervision from teams of doctors since the day she was born. She was barely meant to survive. Few people could have guessed the extent to which she would thrive. Kate graduated from high school and is on her way to college where she will learn how to help children with special needs overcome life’s obstacles.
Kate uses each day to be the light to a confused and hurting world. I’m certain she’ll never look over her shoulder at opportunities gone past and have to ask, “How did it get so late so soon?” She seizes every moment.
On the way home, my children had been in the car a total of 18 hours over a five day span when the wheels started coming off. Stir-crazy. We all felt it, they just looked it. At one point, my middle child was wearing pants on his head.
Ben, my six year old, had been talking non-stop for nine hours. At this particular point, he was pontificating on future possible Super Bowl match-ups. We were all sick of hearing that adorable little voice.
Just when I was about to turn around and ban all noise for the rest of the ride, a thought entered my mind. I turned to Saul, “Can you believe that five years ago he couldn’t even talk?”
All of a sudden, I wanted to hear him. I wanted to hear all of them talk and whine and laugh hysterically.
Bad things were happening outside of our car. A nation was mourning over the deadliest mass shooting the United States has ever seen. But my car was filled with life and noise and laughter. Why would I dampen that when the world continuously tries to dampen it for me? Isn’t it my job to keep the light going– especially in the dark?
It was one of those moments where I suddenly got it. The lightbulb came on. Gratitude filled my heart and instead of screaming for quiet, I settled back into my seat and allowed kindness to take the wheel.
Very soon my children will learn about the darkness that incessantly tries to overtake our world. Hopefully, I will have used every available moment between now and then to remind them that they are the light; to teach them how to be the light.
Then, like my niece, Kate, and all the other people out there who shine so brightly every day, I’ll never have to regretfully ask, how did it get so late so soon?