THE FROG POND - Marking Time

(01/07/2002)

By Suzanne Mazer Stewart

The new year always gets folks to thinking about "time." The good times and bad times of the previous year, what kind of times lie ahead in the coming year, the way things were once upon a time, even new, different and supposedly "better" ways to spend time all get thought up and brought up in discussions. My grandfather used to say that no one marked the passage of time like a farmer, watching his crops and animals grow and flourish with each day. I'd have to add that no one notices time's passing like a mother.

Last January, the birth of our son and the ability for me to see my toes was still two and a half months away. Now, he's crawling around the house, getting into everything. Our little girl was just starting to watch Sesame Street. The other day, she was picking out words she knows from a flier that came in the mail. The older boy was picking fights in school. This year, the promise of baseball in the spring has him minding his manners much better. Last winter, the start of school after winter break brought our oldest daughter worries over her science fair project. Today, it's whether or not the cutest boy in the fifth grade will talk to her at lunch! Some changes, I guess, aren't always for the good.

There are also subtle changes, slow changes that go unnoticed to those who don't have daily contact with the kids. Like how the baby grew into and then out of his clothes in the space of about a month. Or how my little girl went from drawing squiggles and sticks to circles with eyes and mouths, sometimes even hair, in just a few short weeks. The way her older sister now tosses her hair over her shoulder like some pre-teen super model. And how girls aren't as icky in the second grade as they were in the first. Little things that may not seem like much of a difference, but in reality, mean a great deal in our world.

I, too, am left with thoughts of what the future might bring. I wonder when the baby will start walking, what his first word will be. What will his older sister surprise us with next, learning the whole alphabet or counting past 14? Will the seven year old make it to the "big leagues" in little boy football, or will he be too small for tackle? What trendy new fad will Miss Thing get into next?

And then there are the "big" questions: who will they become, what will they do, where will they go, what will their world be like, what kind of times will they have? I don't worry, I know my kids will be all right. The good Lord, me and their daddy will see to it they turn out to be decent folks. But I just can't help think about what time will bring.

See, I told you everyone thinks about "time" this time of year.

Contact Suzanne at MSZFROGGIE@aol.com


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