On Time

Here is an old story from 2002…

As I was driving the boys to their grandparents the other night, Elder asked, “How long are we going to be there?”

I glanced at the clock, did a bit of figuring in my head, then estimated, “I don’t know, Elder. Maybe five hours.”

“How long is that?” he demanded.

“Well, Elder, it’s five hours.”

“But how long is that?”

“Elder, five hours is five hours. I don’t understand the question.”

“Oh. Five hours. That’s a long time. Huh, Mommy?”

For the mother who spends most of her day with a demanding two-year-old and a questioning five-year-old, five hours away really doesn’t seem all that long. So, I hedged, “I don’t know, Elder. Could be, I guess.”

“Well,” he said, undeterred by my poor response. “It’s more than a little while, anyway.”

Ahhhh, the time telling of the young. A little while, quite a while, a long time, and forever. And it all really quite depends on what they are telling time for. I mean, if Elder is waiting for a cookie, two minutes is “forever.” And if I’m waiting for him to find his shoes, “a little while” can be as much as ten minutes.

I don’t even bother with clocks any more. We all run on Elder time.

 

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