My kids always joked about the clocks in our home. They were all set to “Mom” time—meaning they were set about ten minutes fast. Every room had a clock as a digital reminder about time. Being late was something I abhorred and our punctuality worked well until they discovered my ploy.
My favorite clock was a gift—handmade by my grandpa. He made it in 1984 in what was his 84th year. The old-fashioned, battery operated clock had faithfully kept time through my two children’s busy lives, and into the quieter years since they moved away. I always had it hanging next to the front door—because its large hands were a clear reminder of the time as I grabbed all I needed on the way out.
Recently its hands froze in place—a signal to change the batteries. As I took it from the wall to perform this task I looked at my grandpa’s trademark signature and the hand-scribbled 1984 on the backside. I smiled as I thought of him in his woodshop. He always had a dozen clock ready to give away—an old farmer who knew the importance of time.
I put new batteries in but the second hand didn’t move. Several other batteries were tried before I finally accepted the clock no longer worked. Out of respect, I hung it back in its proper place. I set the hands at 6:00—frozen in time.
Later that evening I noticed something interesting. The clock showed 6:03. The following day it was 6:16. I’ve still not seen the second hand move—but it does—as do the hands—just not when I’m watching. Isn’t life like that? Time passes by without us knowing. How often had I rushed out the door, glancing at those hands, not really thinking that every minute counted? How often had I said, “where does the time go?”.
As I thought about Grandpa, he never rushed, or set his clocks for any other time than what it really was. Indeed, he spent his time just like he should—saving it, spending it, but never wasting it. I thought about fixing Grandpa’s clock, but for now I think I’ll keep it just like it is. It’s my new “Mom” time—a clock that goes slow enough to remind me that every moment is precious.