Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 22, 2018

Where does the time go?

By BRYCE KELLY, MPN reporter | Mar 04, 2016

You’ve heard the saying time flies when you’re having fun, which I do think is true. But I think it’s more accurate to say that very often, time flies when you wish it away.

Earlier this week, as I was killing some time on my lunch break, I was going through my Facebook and cellphone photos, a good chunk of which are of my two nephews, ages three and two.

While I was flipping through groups of photos, I came across one I had taken in November of last year. In the photo, my youngest nephew, Cayle, who wasn’t quite two-years-old yet, was standing in the middle of my parents’ driveway flying a kite for the first time by himself. With his back to the camera, his arm stretched out happily into the air, and my parents’ horse barn in front of him, Cayle looked so tiny and innocent. From the photo, it seemed as if he could have been picked up and carried away by that flimsy little Superman kite blowing in the bracing Iowa winds.

Scrolling onward towards more present-day photos, I realized how just a few months could change this tiny bug of a kid into a little boy who is starting to thicken out and grow in height. In my heart, I couldn’t help but feel a wee bit distraught. How was this happening so fast? When did my little Cayle-bale suddenly become a wannabe Mr. Independent with all this desire for freedom?

A few days ago, Cayle asked my mom if he could call Aunt Bryce on the phone and talk to me. He does this every now and then when I can’t come by and play with him because I am at work or have something else filling my schedule, and the conversations are always fun for the both of us.

“Cayle, you are just getting so big! I can’t handle it. What’s happened?” I playfully asked him after we had chatted for a time about his toys and his action-packed afternoon spent with Grandma and Grandpa.

“I don’t know. I just getting so big!,” he responded almost immediately with such innocent glee.

Even over the phone, I could picture his wide-eyed, smiling face as he responded to my question. It was as if my inquiry was more of a compliment to him rather than something that was tugging at my heartstrings.

And with his enthusiastic response, it dawned on me that even at two-years- old, there was something in little Cayle that was truly driving him to grow up. Even though he didn’t know what would be in store for him as he developed, he had this inner drive to catch up to his older brother, gain more independence and understand the world on the more complex level. But yet, it was clear that despite his desire for growth, he was still enjoying the life of a two-year-old.

I think as we get older, we never lose that drive to want to learn new things, be more independent and understand the world in all its complexity. I do think as we age, however, we often get fixated about ending one chapter of our life and beginning a new one. Sometimes it’s easy to romanticize about the next phase of life and forget to savor the one you are in right now.

The one thing that is always constant is change – that’s a rule of life and that’s how humans are created. We were made to change, to grow, to mature and to learn. We all have that desire – it’s part of what makes us who we are.

But, if watching Cayle grow up quicker than I had expected has taught me anything, it’s that while change is good and growth is healthy, being able to find joy and savor our current stage of life is also just as important.

I know Cayle won’t be this little boy forever. He’s going to grow up and develop his fair share of goals, talents, passions, habits and everything in between. As his aunt, I want that. I want to encourage that change in him. But, I also want to encourage Cayle to take stock of where he is in every stage, evaluate it, learn from it, find joy in it, and wait for God’s perfect direction and timing in every part of his life.

And if I am being honest, I want that for myself, too. I want someone to remind me of what I am writing about now. I want someone to reiterate to me to enjoy my 20s, being single and living on my own because there may come a time when I am married with who knows how many children, and just free time alone is hard to come by.

So, the question I will pose to you all this week is where are you right now and how are you handling being there? Whether it is a happy stage, or a more bittersweet one, there is something to be learned in every season of life. There are things to enjoy and things to savor.

Like Cayle, who found an afternoon’s worth of enjoyment from holding a kite blowing in the wind, we can all find joy and goodness in life’s stages – no matter how small they may seem to others.

Kids are funny like that. Although they are often the one’s seeking out knowledge from their elders, it’s often us adults that learn a thing or two from them.

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