I know every young person has heard phrases like ”how time flies” but part of being young is that you can’t believe that is true. Our perspective on the passage of time changes a great deal over the course of a lifetime. I suspect time will seem even more fleeting as I get EVEN older.
Today, I was flipping through an old book. The book, A Light In the Attic by Shel Silverstein was a book that I must have read a hundred times to my kids when they were little. All of Silverstein’s books were favorites of ours. Along with Dr. Seuss….really any sing songy rhyming books were hits at our house.
Perhaps, some of you have read Shel Silverstein’s poems to your kids.
OR from Where the Sidewalk Ends
Occasionally, I would write sing-songy poems for my kids. These poems were fun to write and fun to read but clearly, I am not a poet so they hit the trash fairly quickly. As far as I knew all my little poems were long gone.
But today…as I was flipping through The Light In the Attic I found an old poem that I had written and shoved it into a book unread to anyone. It was aimed toward my son. I am sure, had I read it, he would of thought me crazy. This would have been over 20 years ago. It was probably his job, at that point, to think of me as crazy. I wrote it on a day that I was frustrated over his messy room but wasn’t wanting to fight about it with him.
The room was a dark and dangerous place.
From the floor to the ceiling, it’s just a disgrace,
As I adapt to the light and my eyes become clear,
it’s apparent this dump hasn’t been cleaned for a year.
There’s half eaten pizzas, the order-in kind.
A petrified burger and fries left behind.
There’s bicycle parts shoved under the bed.
The smell is suggestive that something is dead.
There’s trash on the floor, wet towels in a heap,
Dirty laundry galore is piled knee deep.
Skateboards and skates from my little boy’s play,
The TV, and CDs, go with my teen of today.
My anger quickly subsides as a thought comes to mind
The day will come when this room’s left behind.
In the future this mess will be a part of my past,
My gosh, the time he is with us is moving too fast.
Then this room that annoys me, will always stay clean,
No clutter, no litter, a housekeeper’s dream,
This mother will despair as she remembers the day
When his hugs and his kisses were but an arm’s length away.
So today there’s no cleaning, my work here is done,
I am ignoring his room to spend time with my son.
No time today to spend dealing with messes
Time with my kids, seems suddenly precious.
I don’t remember the specific day that I jotted this poem down and shoved it into the book. I must have been having a moment of sentimental attachment to my kid. Perhaps, we did go do something fun and forgot about the messy room. OR…. maybe all that sentimentality quickly wore off and I started screaming at the little slob, and threatening bodily harm if he didn’t do some serious housekeeping.
On some days, it really did make me sad to think about the day my kids would grow up and leave. Then there were other days, that I would have helped them pack.
Note: My son grew up to be quite an organized and neat person. We both survived his childhood…uninjured. See…. miracles do happen.