I've always had a thing for clock-watching. In long school lectures, in numbingly dull college jobs, in planes, trains, automobiles, and, yes, churches, I have watched the clock. I mentally slice up the the hours into segments of minutes--the clock hands cutting through tick marks like soft butter--and the minutes into manageable fractions and meaningful percentages. Only half of the way to half-way done. Only three more half-hours. Over one-third of the way there, which means the rest of it was twice as long as what remains. Only, only, only...
Byron left on a richly-deserved, long-awaited fishing trip for the weekend, so the kids are I are in this alone until Sunday, which means there are 48 big hours to be filled until he returns. My goal for the weekend (other than our collective, you know, survival) is not to focus on slicing away the hours and melting away the minutes, willing the sun down and wishing away the day. (Nor will I focus on the fact that I've had to ramp up the Strangulation Abatement Program as of late and the collective shrieks and moans and shrillness and whining have been a bit much.)
Instead, I'm going to focus on moments like these:
I snapped the following pictures the other night during the last hour before bedtime, an hour that I sometimes spend counting the minutes down breathlessly, almost frantically. On this night, though, I sat down in the middle of their bedroom and silently watched them go about their business of reading books, fiddling with toys, settling in for the night. The summer evening sun was long and a little dreamy and the mood in the room was quiet, calm, and downright peaceful. I shot the photos casually and mostly from the hip and, as a result, they are imperfect, unedited, and true.
Looking at these photos makes me feel exactly as I did then, in that room and in that moment. I'm not sure if the moment lasted five minutes or fifteen minutes or sixty minutes, but it was perfect.
Sometimes the problem with knowing the duration of a thing, I think, is all that focus on enduring.