Thursday, August 21, 2008

"You and your shoes..."

My daughter and I went to visit my Grandmother a few weeks before my daughter’s fifth birthday. I was wearing a pair of black wedge-heeled sandals that I bought at the beginning of summer. Grandmother noticed them and asked me if they were new. I told her that they were ‘sort-of’ new. She said, “You and your shoes…you have a new pair of shoes on every time I see you.” I was shocked at her comment and I protested vehemently. I told her that I am hardly a frivolous person when it comes to my wardrobe, and I might buy one or two new pair of shoes a year, mainly because the ones I’ve had for years have worn through the soles or straps. In fact, ALL of my shoes, totaled, fill one drawer in my dresser! Adding, “I don’t know too many women with that conservative of a shoe stash. Do you?” Grandmother quickly recanted and we went on about our business of visiting, having a lovely time.

A few weeks passed and I thought about Grandmother’s comment every time I went to my drawer to get a pair of shoes. I just couldn’t understand why she had that opinion of me.

At my daughter’s birthday dinner, I was sitting near my husband’s Grandfather at the table. He is in his late seventies; the same age as my Grandmother. He said, “Time really does seem to move more rapidly as you get older.” This was no surprise to me, as I had heard that all of my life and have experienced it myself, especially since the birth of my daughter. It was what he said next that made more of an impact on me. He said, “A whole year will go by, but it only seems like three months to me.”

Again, I knew that time seems to speed up as we age, but I never realized just how fast time could seem to fly by for the elderly. Within just a moment, that statement made a quick connection to my Grandmother’s comments about my shoes. I suddenly understood that, while I may buy one pair of shoes every blue moon, given her own relationship with time, it may very well seem to her as though I have some sort of insatiable shoe fetish.

Since grasping how differently time is passing for all of us, I have enjoyed a better understanding of our Grandparents than ever before. It’s easier for me to understand the younger people in my life as I try harder to remember how slowly time crept by when I was younger.

I’ll try to not get so upset at my young daughter and teenage step-son in the car, for instance. In their minds, the 25 minute drive to Grandmother’s house becomes a two hour road trip. I do realize that my daughter thinks she has waited hours upon hours for me to get finished with this article. I’m sure she thinks mommy is never going to get away from the computer and bake muffins with her. I love the fact that she won’t recall how long it took for her patience to be rewarded; she’ll just be so pleased when I tell her that it’s finally time to bake together.

No comments: