Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become of Me
OpinionShaindle's Shpiel

Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become of Me

Once you're a grandmother, those minutes seem more precious.

Shaindle Schmuckler

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

There’s no time like the present to recognize the value of time. (Photo by Sun Ladder via Wikimedia Commons)
There’s no time like the present to recognize the value of time. (Photo by Sun Ladder via Wikimedia Commons)

I was never one to take the concept of time too seriously.

I do not wear a watch. I have no desire to watch time go by.

As years passed, I felt compelled to take time a bit more seriously or endure the consequence of losing friends, doctors, colleagues, hairdressers and other important folks in my life.

A minute here, two minutes there. Time, after all, boils down to two hands — one large, one small — moving around in a circle. Just to complicate life a bit more, depending on where you are in this universe, you might lose a few hours or gain a few hours.

Goodness, you can innocently gain or lose a full day in the blink of an eye, simply by accommodating your desire to travel the world.

What do you make of the fact that twice a year we can simply move the clock’s hands and spring forward or fall backward? Seriously?

Hearing folks say “Time flies” or “Slow time down” is cause for more confusion.

Given all these variables, how can I possibly take time too seriously?

And another thing: I was not the best keeper of the family’s schedules. Loving my girls as much as I did and do, I eventually had to devise new methods of organization. My girls learned early in life to remind Mommy where we have to be, what time we have to be there, what special clothes we need to participate, and, most important of all, what time we need to be picked up.

They tried so hard to keep my feet to the fire (not a pleasant visual).

Yes, I admit, I was always last on carpool line. I had no patience for wasting time waiting (yet another time variable), or getting gas, or visiting with other carpooling moms.

And yet …

Weekly meals were determined on Sunday. All ingredients were purchased to be available for each night. The evening’s meal was always posted on the fridge, with cooking directions, in the event I arrived home late from work. Yet another time variable.

Snacks for my girls had to be healthy. No cwap (inside joke) in our pantry or fridge. TV was limited to one hour a week. (There’s that good old time thing again.)

Supporting these were the only two rules I insisted upon: No whining, and no lying.

I was not the kind of mom who felt I could dress my girls better than they could dress themselves. Matching was not something I worried about. Taste in clothes is a developmental process.

So, one day, when one of my girls rode her bike to school in her navy-blue knee socks and no shoes, I was actually proud of her. When two of the girls insisted on wearing their red-white-and-blue swim team bathing suits every day and every night, I simply bought them a second suit.

When one, at the tender age of 6, insisted her long, gorgeous hair must be cut — although a high point in her life and a low point in mine — her hair got cut. I don’t believe I cried for more than a few days.

I subscribed to a well-thought-out methodology and consistency to my approach to parenting. Except when I didn’t.

When it was my time for my right of passage into the coveted role of savta (grandma), everything changed. I am now free to declare: In my house, whatever my grandbabies want, my grandbabies get.

Suddenly, I understand: not enough time.

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