It hangs heavy for the bored, eludes the busy, flies by for the young, and runs out for the aged.


We talk about it as though it’s a manufactured commodity that some can afford, other can’t; some can reproduce, others waste.

We crave it.  We curse it.  We kill it.  We abuse it.  Is it a friend?  Or an enemy?  I suspect we know very little about it.  To know it at all and its potential, perhaps we should view it through a child’s eyes.

“When I was young, Daddy was going to throw me up in the air and catch me and I would giggle until I couldn’t giggle any more, but he had to change the furnace filter and there wasn’t time.”

“When I was young, Mama was going to read me a story and I was going to turn the pages and pretend I could read, but she had to wax the bathroom floor and there wasn’t time.”

“When I was young, Daddy was going to come to school and watch me in a play.  I was the fourth Wise Man (in case one of the three got sick), but he had an appointment to have his car tuned up and it took longer than he thought and there was no time.”

“When I was young, Grandma and Granddad were going to come for Christmas to see the expression on my face when I got my first bike, but Grandma didn’t know who she could get to feed the dogs and Granddad didn’t like the cold weather, and besides, they didn’t have the time.”

“When I was young, Mama was going to listen to me read my essay on ‘What I Want to Be When I Grow Up,’ but she was in the middle of the ‘Monday Night Movie’ and Gregory Peck was always one of her favorites and there wasn’t time.”

“When I was older, Dad and I were going fishing one weekend, just the two of us, and we were going to pitch a tent and fry fish with the heads on them like they do in the flashlight ads, but at the last minute he had to fertilize the grass and there wasn’t time.”

“When I was older, the whole family was always going to pose together for our Christmas card, but my brother had ball practice, my sister had her hair up, Dad was watching the Colts, and Mom had to wax the bathroom.  There wasn’t time.”

“When I grew up and left home to be married, I was going to sit down with Mom and Dad and tell them I loved them and I would miss them.  But Hank (he’s my best man and a real clown) was honking the horn in front of the house, so there wasn’t time.”

Erma Bombeck


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