The expression “It’s time” usually means something is about to end. My kids don’t want to hear “It’s time to go home!” when they are sliding down the dinosaur slide at the playground, or “It’s time to go to bed!” when they are busy dancing with Daddy. “It’s time” is the dreaded phrase that means fun time is over, and something new is about to begin. Something new is not bad; after playing at the park, we usually have a snack. They never turn their nose down at a snack. Emmy and Lily are always tired at bedtime, and rest their heads on their pillows gratefully once we tuck them in.
When I started having contractions with my first baby, I called Ed at work. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I might have said, “It’s time!” It was time for the pregnancy to end, and for the pain of labor (or in my case, a Cesarean) to begin. The pain of having a baby, of course, was far exceeded by the joy of having Lily, and then 3 years later, Emmy, enter our lives.
So the phrase “It’s time!” signals both an ending and a beginning; one activity is over and another is about to begin. We may be sad to end the first, but the second may be even better.
All this talk about time brings to mind this story. In order to do it justice, you will have to read it on your own, but here is the gist of it. (I’m telling you the end of the story, but this book is so good, it will not spoil it for you.)
One of my favorite books is The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan, King of Narnia, stands at a door and calls, “TIME.” This is a cue for Father Time to wake up. The end of that world, Narnia, has come, and Father Time “took the Sun and squeezed it in his hand as you would squeeze an orange. And instantly there was total darkness.” The visitors to Narnia from our world are extremely sad to see Narnia come to an end.
However, they find themselves in a place even more wondrous than Narnia, and they fear Aslan will send them back to Earth, to our world. Aslan calls our world along with Narnia the Shadowlands, and tells them that they have died in a train wreck and will never have to go back. (This is where the title for the movie about C.S. Lewis, Shadowlands, comes from.)
When certain things in my life have come to an end, whether it’s my years of teaching at a fabulous school, my daughter’s babyhood, or other wonderful things, I have mourned their passing. But what came next is wonderful, too. I love staying at home with my children, and todderhood and preschooldom is quite fun (most days!) Even as I live in the moment, I also look forward to future years.
When it’s my time to go, (as it will be some day in the far, far distant future) I will be so sad to leave. But my hope is that there will be even greater things to come.
To read more about “Time” visit Jen’s Spin Cycle at Sprite’s Keeper!