Time and size change as they relate to age . . .
In the beginning or early stages of life, everything seems so big and incredible. As a grown man, I stand two inches above my Father’s height, but as a boy, The Old Man was a giant. His hands were large and capable but mine were small and unblemished. They were untrained and untested. If asked, I believed The Old Man was capable of anything. I believed his hands were strong enough to hold the world together. And I thought this because The Old Man held my family’s world together.
In relation to time and size, my early classrooms looked tremendous. Back then, the school year seemed to last forever and the summers were nothing more than a blink of time. But now, months fly off the calendar and years shed regardless to my opinion of the season.
On the playground, the monkey bars, swings, and the slides were all so tall to me. Yet, as a grown man, I have visited some of my old playgrounds.
Some of them look the same, only now, the ladder to the slide is only inches above my head and I can easily reach the monkey bars from a standing position.
Years ago, I took my daughter on a drive through my old neighborhood. I showed her the house I lived in and we drove passed my old junior high school.
She looked and her eyes opened wide, as if it was the biggest school she had ever seen. I assume it looked big to me once—but not anymore. Now it looks small. I suppose my legs are too long and my body is too big to sit behind one of my old desks.
But this was not always the case.
As a child, I was one of the shortest in my class. I remember being bullied and feeling frightened. I tried to hide this and put on a good show. But truth is truth, and the truth is my fear was completely transparent.
My growth spurt and puberty came later in my teenage years. However, after several years away from youth, I stood on line at a fast food place. I recognized someone from my past and I immediately recalled my hatred for him. The hour was before dawn and those on line were hungry after a long night in the New York City bar scene.
I remembered this person very clearly. I remembered the time he pushed me into the lockers in seventh grade and he humiliated me. At the time, he was so much taller than I was. He was bigger and stronger. I was too puny to defend myself, but more, I was too intimidated.
When I saw him, his size was no longer an issue to me. I stood more than a head taller and felt more than a little stronger. I used to be afraid of him, but then again, I was a child at the time and my relation to size was much different.
My first thought was to punish the former bully. I thought of humiliating him in front of his friends the way he embarrassed me in front of mine.
I envisioned a certain torture that would leave his mouth toothless and bleeding with fear in his eyes. Instead, I laughed because I saw him for who he was, and who he was is not worth my time.
(I was also less innocent then and armed with a Colt Python nickel plated .357 Magnum hidden inside my long black coat. So even if he was still bigger than I was, it wouldn’t have mattered . . . but that’s not the point)
After entering a divorce in my early thirties, I moved from a large house into a small apartment. I went from a large kitchen to a small one; I went from two new cars to a broken-down, used one, and I went from crowded active house into a quiet bedroom.
I believed I would never have anything so big again. So in an effort to prove myself, I pushed until I attained my dreams.
I met my wife. I moved into a house in my old neighborhood, with room to spare, and two cars in the driveway.
I owned a boat, which was my lifelong dream. I had attained my materialistic dreams until our finances went wrong.
After partnering in a poor business decision, we were nearly stripped of everything; the two cars, the boat, and the dream of defiantly pointing out, “We did it on our own,” was taken from us.
I saw this as one of my biggest losses.
My relation to size has changed.
I have a small stuffed animal on a shelf in my home office. I have had this small Bengal tiger since I was eight. My mother bought it as a gift for me when I was in the hospital. It wear a green shirt that says, “I’m a little tuffy,” and its value is immeasurable.
I found a small clam shell in my daughter’s room the other day. This reminded me of a certain day on the beach . . . and that day was huge to me.
I have a tiny lock of hair from my little dog Roxxy. The Veterinarian gave this to us after we put her to sleep.
Roxxy was my lap dog; she fit perfectly in my arm, but she too was another big part of my life. I loved her and miss her so much that I cannot complete this sentence without wiping tears from my eyes.
My daughter is still somewhat small. My wife has little wrists and small hands, but these small things mean everything to me, because they depend on my hands to hold their world together.
My Mother still wears The Old Man’s wedding band. The gold has worn over the 25 years since his death. The designs in the ring have nearly vanished. Yet, if you ask my mother, I am sure she will tell you this is the biggest thing she owns.
I write to you sitting in the smallest room in my house. I call this place, “The Writing Room,” and this small room encompasses everything I have, everything I love and everything I write about. True, I have lost many big things throughout my life—but these little things I have described are bigger than anything else I could ever build or own.
I repeat; time and size change as they relate to age . . .
So yes, size does matter, but it matters differently to me now.
Over the years, I see big things as less impressive, but my small treasures are worth the world to me. As for time; I see time as a fleeting piece of our existence and I have already wasted too much of it thinking or worrying about the big and unnecessary.