Time Passages

“Yesterday gets to be a long time ago.”

The Kid has just finished 7th grade.  In the fall, she will be a full-fledged “honor” student at her middle school — full-fledged because this past year, she was in all the honors classes except the not-so-honorable 7th grade math class.  Shortly before summer break began, she lobbied her teacher to be included in the 8th grade honors algebra.  Why?  Because apparently peer pressure (her peer group being the “smart” set) can work in mysterious ways.  It should be an entertaining year for all concerned.

It may be entertaining in other ways too, especially if they ever crack open a history book.  Tonight she watched the first Indiana Jones movie with DH, and though I should have known better, I just had to ask:  “When was WWII?”  And she began to answer, “18 –”

Sigh.

Of course, she also thinks she’s living in the 20th century — and though she was able to tell me a century is one hundred years, she also thinks the 21st century goes from 2001 to 3000.

Sigh.

In a very small but real way, I envy her grasp of time, and how very flexible and meaningless it all is to her: the Union versus the Communists, the Nazis versus the Confederates, the colonists versus the Russians.  What is it like to view time with such fluidity?  When the Kid was in 5th grade and learning how to knit, she decided the best way to wind a skein into a ball was to completely unwind the skein first into a big pile of yarn, then wind the big pile of yarn into a ball.  I imagine that time, for her, is like that big pile of yarn, too difficult to untangle . . . .  Back then, she surreptitiously dumped the yarn into the trash, hoping I wouldn’t notice.  I did then, I do now.  She wants the appearance of intelligence without having to work hard at it.  I wonder when she will realize that side-stepping of reality — then I think, surely she already knows.  What would I like for her — self-knowledge, or self-acknowledgment?

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