The Passing of the Candle

I had a revelation this week. Time is weird.

I didn’t say it was a new revelation, I’ve had this thought before, but this week it struck me in a new way while wrapping tissue paper around a candle. I mean how does time seem to move more quickly now than when I was younger? How can I be the one wrapping the candle?!

When I was in Kindergarten I suffered, what I like to tell my Dad, was a traumatic experience. You see for Christmas that year I was planning to give my Kindergarten teacher a candle. It was a pretty candle too. I was so excited about giving this gift and I really liked my teacher. The morning before Christmas break I went out the front door onto our sidewalk and was waiting for the bus to come down the road. This was the day! The day I could give Mrs. Stouffer the candle. But then my world shattered…. ok, well maybe not my world…but the candle did! Dad had dropped it on the sidewalk. Yes, I’m still not letting him forget it. Poor guy! And now I’m posting it in cyberspace for others to see. I even feel a little bit guilty because for my high school graduation my parents gave me a candle and basically told me it was a replacement for the Kindergarten one and that I needed to get over it! Apparently it didn’t work!

Actually, I have no hard feelings toward Dad for dropping my candle. I just enjoy bringing it up and am thankful that it’s about the only negative thing I can say about his parenting. But this week as I helped my son wrap his Christmas gift for his 1st grade teacher, a candle of course, I could barely believe it. I’m the candle parent now. Seriously, when did this happen?! How can I be the one with a child old enough to get on a school bus proudly bearing a gift for his beloved teacher?

Maybe that book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, is right. That year I learned that you don’t cry over spilled milk…or wax. It’s the thought that counts more than the gift itself. And, that parents will do almost anything for their children, like my Dad who quickly got me another candle to give to Mrs. Stouffer (who never knew otherwise.)

Now I’d do almost anything for my children and I’m trying to pass on those same life lessons. Yesterday I helped my little boy wrap his teacher’s candle. It’s true. I really am the candle parent now.

And I’m hanging on tight!

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