Time is malleable. In the hands of a toddler, an ice cream cone lasts a year. A seven-year-old’s scraped elbow stings for a century. Teenage heartbreak is an endless, inescapable salt flat stretching a thousand miles in all directions.
As adults we assuage and calm our children when they struggle with the endings. Tears come with the melting of the cone and the scraping of the elbow. We hold them and talk them through the barrenness of freshman breakups, knowing it will pass soon enough. Though our hearts may ache for them, we know it’s not the end of the world. We’ve been there. We know the way. Older, wiser, we hold their hands and let it pass.
All things come to an end, and more often than not, that’s a good thing. Too many ice cream cones will rot your teeth and make you fat. Scraped elbows teach care and caution. That boy was a bad influence, that girl was destroying your self-esteem.
This week we broadened the definition of marriage and a hero named Bree Newsome took down an outdated, offensive flag. Some adults are shouting and pouting, stomping feet at the melting cone, terrified of antiseptic on raw skin, suffering through breakups with adolescent angst, behaving like children when sunset arrives, unable to see that a better day is dawning.
Relax my children, process your lessons. Just breathe and let it pass.