Eight Hours

I wrote this a long time ago now. Four+ years, in fact. Time goes faster and faster all the time. Have you noticed, too?

But I’m writing here tonight because I want to add some things to that other, referenced above. And I could have added more before now: in the four+ years that have passed since Lynne turned 36, we’ve had some more times to celebrate. But to be sure, those times have also been Extrememly Limited, as she and her family live in Shanghai these days, making our visits together come fewer and Ever So Much Farther between.

But today was one of those visits, one of those days– and this came a year and a half after the last one. Today we had eight wonderful hours together, and I thought they might be worthy of celebration– or, at the very least, a blog post.

So here’s to you coming to us (again), not us coming to you; to Caleb’s being taller than me and insisting that I didn’t introduce myself on the phone (you know I did, Caleb); to seven children of various heights and dampness tumbling in and then out-of-doors again to play in the falling snow; to Gwen wondering about “that other girl” with Madelyn; to not being in our forties; to boys and Airsoft guns, music and YouTube videos; to snow pants and pairs of gloves and Taco Bell cheese in Madelyn’s hood; to sleds and a snowy trek to the sledding hill that was seriously much steeper when Bill was little; to football and sledding at the same time and a lime-green saucer sled that slid and spun and made for a wonderful ride; to “picking berries” that we meant literally; to a sun that never quite broke through a winter sky and the black of bare branches against the snow; to the life of David and the prevenient grace of God; to hot chocolate and tea; to Quaker Steak and Lube; to Seth and his placid receipt of a birthday song; to conversations on hair color and tatooed eyeliner and wine awash on the bathroom floor; to girls asleep on the upstairs bed and recommendations for The Painted Veil and some quiet conversation for just the four of us, despite it’s being colored by fatigue and the pressing awareness of Time to Go Home.

Here is to days like these: composed of the same number of hours and minutes as all the other ones have, but oh-so-different somehow; days stolen from the small host of those allotted to family for vacation; days that will have to hold our place until the next ones come– and may they come sooner, faster, longer than we thought possible.

Here is to someday not waving good-bye. Again.

Thank you so much for coming. We had a lovely time.

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