The First Time

There’s a first time for everything, and as mothers of young boys, none are more daunting than the first time you let them into the men’s room in a public place and you just stand outside for what feels like 14 hours while they figure out how to do whatever they need to do in there, with one stall and maybe they can’t reach the sink and what if there is no soap and what goes on with men’s rooms and urinals anyway?

Yes, in mere minutes - was it even long enough to properly wash a hand? - they return and it was fine and they are fine and you are fine and life goes on and before long you are letting them find their own way to the restroom at a restaurant, and then at a museum, and then at the mall, and then they are basically driving themselves to the mall and then it’s game over check please.

At least that’s how it *feels*. How does time go so fast? When they are infants, there are minutes that feel like hours - when they get their first round of immunizations, when you are trying to teach them to nurse or letting them cry it out for a few minutes. I remember once letting our tiny daughter cry it out in her crib - a method that worked and produced for us a great sleeper - and she cried for 12 minutes. TWELVE. It felt like 100 hours. Now every hour feels like a minute. When did the shift happen? How does time feels like it moves so quickly now?

It will start to really speed up now, as we’ve already given back the hour we took in the fall, setting us up to run late by default all week long, second-guessing whether the clock is right and doing the math in your head to figure out why you feel hungry or tired or can’t sleep. Now the days will really start to fly by. Before we know it, we’ll be buying teacher gifts. Before we know it, we’ll be applying sunscreen. The daylight is back, and then comes the spring.

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