Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Doggie Years and Mommy Years

My husband and I were having an aggressive, financially driven conversation in the car on the way home from the Home Depot. My son is furiously tapping my shoulder trying to get my attention from the back seat. I turned around and issued the standard warning about interrupting and explained what is to be expected from a 10 year old when it comes to the art of inserting a request into a dialogue in which you are not a participant.

After all the unsolicited lecturing, he injected this pertinent question: “How long is a dog year?” That’s it. That’s all he wanted. Apparently the absence of this scientific conversion caused his thought process to derail. We don’t own a dog so I don’t know whose life expectancy he was calculating.

“How long is a mommy year?” my daughter shouted from the back seat. That, my dear, will take some consideration. Sometimes a Mommy year feels like seven dog years. The year I decided I would nurse, not bottle feed, newborn twins felt like untold dog years. The years that my husband worked third shift while I was at home with five children under age six, felt like eternity.

The years that my only daughter went from twirling through the house in a soft, white nightgown to holding her book bag for her first day of kindergarten were only a minute. The year that my other son learned how to write his name in cursive and detach himself from his big brother’s shadow passed so quickly, I don’t remember its existence.

The year that I made the New Year’s resolution to lose all the baby fat keeps repeating itself like an old woman with a bad hearing aid.

The year, the year, the year. So many years have passed, I fear they have doubled in speed and I have forgotten in halves. I have wasted time and wanted time. I have wasted time thinking about wanted time.

No, a Mommy year can’t be measured because it has too many variables. One thing is certain-a Mommy should enjoy every agonizing, beautiful minute of every year because a Mommy year will only last as long as the Mommy.

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