Chick Wit: Mother Time
That's the Latin for, when the hell did that happen?
Or, literally, time flies.
I say that because that's how time feels, especially as we get older and we’re moving more slowly.
In fact, not only is time flying, but so is everything else, and especially nowadays, when email is the new snail mail.
I can't remember the last handwritten letter I got, but then again, I can't remember anything.
These days, texting seems to be the preferred mode of communication, and it used to be that I texted only with Daughter Francesca and Besties Laura and Franca, but now my plumber will text me and so will any assorted tradesperson, including the guy who came to pick up the PortaJohns after my book club party.
And no, his name is not John.
But I digress, because my point is that time is a relative thing, which I think some smart guy said even before me, and I never realized it so much as I did this weekend, and actually, at the book club party.
First some background.
You may know that Francesca and I host a book club party at my house for book clubs who read my April books, to show them our gratitude. We had several hundred people to the house last weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday.
I know it sounds crazy, but Mother Mary told me that if you really want to show someone you care about them, you have to have them over and feed them.
So we do.
And by the way, thanks to you, dear readers. As you know, Francesca and I write a series of nonfiction books that include some of our Chick Wit stories, and we have been writing this series of books for six years. And more and more of you are supporting these books because last summer, the most recent in the series, DOES THIS BEACH MAKE ME LOOK FAT? became a New York Times bestseller.
So thank-you is most definitely in order.
Anyway, back to the book club party. We fed them and gave them a show, at which both Francesca and I spoke, telling stories about our writing lives, our dogs, and mostly, each other. And when it was Francesca's turn to speak, she told a funny story about me and happened to say that it drives her crazy when I tell people that she's thirty, because she is only twenty-nine.
That’s just the kind of line that made the twenty-somethings in the audience nod in complete understanding.
And the fifty-somethings in the audience laugh and laugh.
Time truly is relative, especially among relatives.
But truly, I never gave validity to this point of hers until I saw all the younger people in our audience nodding, and most of them came up to Francesca later and told her that their mothers did the same thing about their ages and it drove them all crazy, too.
Which is when I started thinking about why we mothers do this, and why it drives our daughters crazy.
And I realized that, for mothers, time is related to memory.
And I can clearly remember Francesca as an adorable little toddler, all blue eyes and curly blonde hair, clutching a yellow giraffe that was her favorite toy. When any adult asked her how old she was, she would hold up three little fingers and say:
"I am this many."
I’m willing to bet that there is no mother reading this who doesn't remember her child saying, "I am this many."
And when you can remember a child saying I-am-this-many, you will have an impossibly difficult time dealing with your child’s age at all, once it gets over twelve.
Much less when she starts driving.
Or moves to New York City.
I still can't believe that Francesca is twenty-nine, so, in my mind, it doesn't matter if I round it up to thirty or down to twenty-eight, and now that I've lived sixty years on earth, I feel like all the years blur into one big year, so that a year or two doesn't matter, either way.
Except maybe it does.
Who wouldn't want an extra year at the very end?
So maybe our daughters are trying to teach us something.
Now all I need is sixty fingers.
© Lisa Scottoline 2015