Monday, July 27, 2009

The Human Detour

Have you ever noticed how you may be headed in one direction but something happens to push you in a different direction, one you never expected or anticipated? It happens to all of us, I would venture to say, some of us more than once. With my son, Christopher, I experience small detours every day. Life is often lived at 90-degree angles with Christopher, who will suddenly and abruptly change the direction of a conversation without warning.

Tonight, a few minutes before 9:00, I informed Christopher that he needed to get ready for bed. After a moment or two, he left, only to return five minutes or so later to inform me that he was going to brush his teeth. What he did during the five or so minutes he was gone, I'm not even sure he knows. I do know that if anyone ever figures out a way to save "rollover" minutes in life the way a certain cellular phone company does, Christopher will be set into the next life.

Christopher left again. To the untrained observer, it would appear he went to brush his teeth, just as he said. As his father, I knew better. Ten minutes passed. Teresa opened the bathroom door to discover him simply standing there. I sat down on our bedroom floor to play with our dog and settled in for the long haul.

Another five or ten minutes passed, during which time Christopher presumably did brush his teeth. He walked into our bedroom and announced to the world, "I found a penny on the bus," to which I replied, "Yes, but can you find your pajamas?" Because, at this point, Christopher, clean teeth and all, was still fully dressed.

Tonight, it took Christopher roughly 20 minutes to get ready for bed and another five to actually get settled into bed. Tonight, he showed unusual speed. The week prior, there was one night it took Christopher almost 90-minutes to finally pronounce himself ready for bed.

I joke that Christopher has two speeds: slow and stop. Because of that, Teresa and I both suspect that he will have trouble in this hurry up and wait, hustle and bustle world in which we live.

Seeing Christopher's inability to do anything quickly has been frustrating to me more times than I can count. Tonight, though, I hit upon a thought that may make dealing with and accepting Christopher's lack of alacrity about anything a bit easier to accept. When we retire, Teresa and I hope to buy a motorhome to live in a travel around the country, and we are sometimes convinced that Christopher will have to accompany us on the road.

In the world of the full-time RVer, a world we one day hope to enter, time is much more relative. There are no schedules unless you choose to have them. You don't need to be somewhere on a certain day, by a certain time unless you choose to. In a sense, time is more of a choice.

In that world, life is lived more slowly. People take time to notice and appreciate their surroundings. Although there are fewer younger people in that world, it is one tailor-made for Christopher, for whom time is often fluid, aside from deadlines and schedules imposed and enforced on him by others.

Amongst full-time RVers, Christopher may well thrive, and it may be me who frustrates him. I can't wait.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Ha~! our children can frustrate us so well, can't they?