Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time Passes So Quickly...

I am about to attend the high school graduation of my oldest son.  (Yes, that’s him in the picture, but I’d dare anybody to try to recognize him now from this image.)  It seems like just a moment ago I was in the delivery room with him, and my husband looked up at me in amazement and said, “He’s pretty wonderful.  When are his parents going to come and take care of him?”  I look at the six-foot tall man before me and have a hard time putting him together with that small baby I held in my arms.  I’ve seen every stage of his development, yet it is hard to believe that one could have become the other.  Of course, there is NO WAY that I am old enough to be the mother of a college student.

We attended his college orientation last weekend and I felt caught out of time.  I wanted to be the one choosing classes and looking over the crowd, deciding who was a likely friend, with whom I could imagine staying up to the early hours of the morning have deep, deep discussion?  I was not ready to be the parent, to have crowds of eager, rising freshmen rush by me without even seeing me.  I wanted to have all of life in front of me once again.

And what does this have to do with books and romance?

When I pick up a book I do have it all before me again.  I’ve been rereading a bunch of my old favorites this early summer, and when I read them, I am back to exactly where I was the first time.  There are a few that are not what I remember, but mostly I can take that step back in time.  And even when I read a new book and get lost in it, I can be whomever I am reading about.  And it’s not often in real life that I kiss a duke, kill a vampire, steal a priceless piece of art, paraglide down to take out a terrorist, dance in a strip club, solve a murder (or commit one), have a half-dozen puppies running through my living room, or become a famous chef.  In fact, I’ve never done any of those things – but in my reading I’ve done all of them.

And writing is even better.  I can sit in my flower-filled back yard, listening to the birds, and become whomever and do whatever I want.  I can do it again and again.  When I write, I can fall in love for the first time – as many times as I want.  And I do want – because one of the great secrets of living is that we never grow older in our minds.  I am always that young girl gazing across the room at a man who, I can sense, will take my breath away.  Exactly what I consider young may change, but the feelings don’t.

At this point last summer I was frantically trying to finish the four novellas for my The Real Duchess of London series and having a great deal of fun (and a few headaches) trying to quickly come up with four different women and four different stories that all fulfilled my fantasies of true love.  I had just finished writing What a Duke Wants (my personal favorite).  I had allowed myself to be nineteen for six months, and went through a bit of shock as I head-bopped between my duchesses.

I am currently working on finishing the fifth novella, which I hope to have up by the end of the summer.  I am not working as fast as I’d like, because this duchess is very picky about what she wants to do and not do, but I am pushing her along.

And after her?  I am not quite sure.  I’ve got a couple of very different ideas brewing in my mind – and also another lonely Regency lady ready to meet her handsome lord at any moment.

And the rest of the time?  I may not be quite ready to watch my son graduate, but I am pretty happy being me, lying in the hammock gazing up at the trees and listening to the birds.  Time may go fast, but life is good.

Let me know how fast time is passing for you, and I’ll reward one lucky commenter with a set of my first four novellas (either paperback or Kindle).

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for having me,


***Lavinia's winner is Jeanne M!  Please email me at with your full name and mailing info!***


marybelle said...

I have a few white hairs & my children are adults, but it's still me. I still feel young, so where the years went, I have no idea.

Jo's Daughter said...

Time flies, I remember like it was yesterday that I was 9 years old. Walked barefoot in the grass, pretended to be a fairy & ate so much icecream I got a bad tummyache. Mainly because it was only yesterday that I did it again, well apart from the fairy part that is.

Laurie G said...

Lets see:

40 years ago- I graduated from HS
36 years ago I graduated from college
35 years ago - I was married
29 years ago I had my first child
26 years ago I had my 2nd child
24 years ago my third child was born
21 years ago my 4th child was born
5 years ago- oldest child daughter married
1 year ago- oldest son married
7 months ago- My first grandchild was born

In August my youngest will start grad school!

I have to agree that keeping active and involved makes me feel young. What's a few gray hairs when I have so much to be grateful for!

Best wishes to you!

I still keep in touch with several of my HS and college friends
This year my youngest graduated from college

franlori said...

My daughter just finished her first year of college. Reading your words reminded me how I felt last year. I try to give her good advice and then step back. My hope is that she makes smarter choices than I think I did (sort of trying to live my life over again from afar). My youngest will be starting middle school which is housed with the high school. No more kids in the little school! I don't know where the time flies. My mother told me that you will always feel like you're 16 and she was right!

Lavinia Kent said...

Franlori -- My youngest is also leaving elementary this year. We actually have both graduations on the same day. It does change how you think about yourself at the same time that yes, I am still me.

Laurie G -- I completely agree that staying active is key -- and doing new things. The longer you can keep your world expanding the better. I always try to remember that when I just want to curl up with a book and not leave the house.

Marybelle -- I think one of the secrets you're never told when your young is that only the outside ages -- not the inside.

Jo's Daughter -- I still dream of being a fairy. LOL. I went to see Lightening Thief with my kids last year and wanted to know why there are fantasies where the adults wake up and discover they're super heroes or the descendants of gods. Why do the kids get all the fun?

Debbie said...

It's funny you should ask that question today. Just this morning my husband and I were talking. As usual, we talk mostly about our five now adult children/stepchildren. I commented that I used to keep track of time by thinking back to what ages my children would have been at the time of a certain event (i.e.: David would have been eleven, so that would have been twenty years ago)- now I'm doing it with my grandchildren as well! When put in that perspective, time certainly does fly! What I know for sure is; I'm right where I'm supposed to be. :)

NoraA said...

Graduated H.S. in'65
My partner and I moved in together in '72
4 yrs later first child,
few more years 3 more.

All married, and I have 8 grand kids ages 12yr (just bar mitzved)down to 8mos. I have no idea where the years went. I ain't old enough for this shit.

NoraA said...

Oh, here's the link to my Twitter for the share.

I do love dead tree format vs e-books.

Maureen said...

My youngest just finished his sophomore year in college and when I talk about when he graduates my husband insists it's a long way off. I tell him that it seems like yesterday that kindergarten was a long way off.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Renee said...

My husband and I have just been saying the same thing. My son graduated from high school at the end of May, and we just got back from his orientation from college. It seems like yesterday that he was sleeping in a cradle in our bedroom. My youngest will also be a freshman in high school. I keep telling her that she has to stop getting older. I treasure these moments.

Carol L. said...

It seems like just yesterday I was raising my 7 kids and they are now parents themselves. I look at my grandkids and remember how their Moms or Dads were sleeping in a cradle next to my bed.I didn't realize how old I'd gotten. lol
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Pat Cochran said...

It seems as though it should be 1954 and
I've just graduated from high school. Fast
forward to 1961, Honey and I were just
married, then to 1962 and our first child
has been born. Zip to 1990, our 4th child
has graduated, two children have married,
and our first grandchild is born in this
year. In 2008, Jude, our 10th grandchild
is born and our 1st grandchild is in col-
lege. Hit the fast forward button to 2011
as we celebrate our golden anniversary and
time is flying by so rapidly! I keep look-
ing for it but there is no rewind button on
this machine! I can only say: enjoy each
stage of life to the fullest!

Lavinia Kent said...

Thank you all for your comments. I am really loving them. Normally I ask favorite book questions and I've found a few treasures that I wouldn't have otherwise, but all these remarks feel so personal and so real. It is amazing how we can all feel the same way. Lavinia

Barbara said...

I understand perfectly...time DOES fly! I have four children ranging in age from 31 - 27...and felt the same way you describe when each of them graduated from high school. I cried like a little girl...I was so darn proud...and so scared I was losing my little ones. Where did the time go...yesterday they were 3 yrs old, I swear! Now...three of them are married...and yes, I cried like a little girl...again at each of their weddings. They chose well...I love each of their spouses very much...and this September...we'll be welcoming our 10th...yep, 10th grandchild into our family. And you guessed I hold the little one in my arms and whisper 'happy birthday' in his ear...I will likely be crying like a little girl...again!!

barbbattaglia @

*yadkny* said...

Time is definitely passing too quickly... in about 2 weeks I go for my 10 year high school reunion, but I swear it was like a couple of years have passed since I've been back there. I also completed 6 years with my day job and that I really can't believe I've been there that long:)

megblod said...

It's been six years since I graduated from high school and it doesn't seem that long ago but at the same time so much has happened since then that it seems almost like a lifetime ago.

Jeanne M said...

Lavinia -

Where have all the years gone? It seems like just yesterday when I was worrying about my older son who was born 3 weeks early and weighed in at 9 lbs. 9oz. or my second son who they were so worried would survive that they brought him into the world 6 weeks early at 6 lbs. 6 oz.! How I worried about them and how little I had to fear. I'm a Type I diabetic and back in the early 1970's they really didn't know much about the problems of childbirth in diabetics. The later problems of braces for my younger sons legs and braces for both of their teeth were minor set backs. Who knew then that the joys they brought would bring so much contentment! The first state football 1st place victory for our small town High School and them playing on the field together. Of course all the pales when thinking of the birth of our five grandchildren and knowing that any problems can be overcome by love.

When did I grow old over those years that passed so fast? When did I grow up and have people coming to me for advice? When and how did I become the strong person I am today?

Perhaps it's just realizing that others are depending on you to be strong and to know that you guide their world in those precious moments when they are growing up and teaching them that the most important thing is being kind, caring and to treat other well. It's in reminding yourself to be tolerant and kind and to understand that how you act can influence how others around you view the world as well.

It truly is more important to help others to achieve than to achieve yourself. To rejoice in the victories of others instead of feeling you failed if you don't win.

The most important thing I've learned from my children is that love is unconditional and life flies by much to quickly to regret what you didn't do.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Well, from your photo posted... you can't be the mom of a college student... but oh does time fly... I find it hard that it's been over 40 years since I graduated from high school and that my husband has taught long enough to retire...

Michele L. said...

Wow! You are so right how time zips on by! It seems like yesterday when I was living at home, with my parents, as free as can be! Now I am 51, been married for 27 years, working, responsibilities up the wazoo and taking care of my elderly mom. Sure wish we could slow down time, so we can stop and smell the roses once in a while. No free time for hubby and I with everything we do in a day plus we have three rental homes we are responsible for too.

Have a great week!

Eli Yanti said...

definitely yes, time passed so fast, and i still remember we celebrated christmas, new year, chinese new year, valentine, and it half of year and we nearly christmas again.

Di said...

Time does fly. My oldest nephew (actually his wife) is now expecting their first child (I'm going to be a Great Aunt!). They sent the sonogram picture and I swear it looks just like my nephews first picture (the one where he was swaddled in the hospital). That was 30 years ago! The picture of your baby boy reminded me of that.