Time Traveler

A few years ago I read The Time Traveler’s Wife.  Though I didn’t see the movie, the book was terrific and intriguing.  I’ve been going through family photo albums this past week for a project I’m working on, and the question arose, “If I could return to any age, what age would I pick?”  That’s a tough one, plus there is a huge difference between picking an age and then moving forward from there, or choosing an age to revisit.  Though I would love to return to a time when gravity didn’t make my skin sag, wrinkles hadn’t been permanently etched into my face, and my knees and hips didn’t ache every time I get up from a chair.  But I definitely don’t want to go through toilet training, giving my keys to my just-licensed teenagers, hubby’s illness, and many other things, big and little that were unpleasant and stressful.  I’m happy being right where I am and moving forward from here.  But still…

It’s fun to imagine being a time traveler and enjoying different periods in your life.  I certainly would not choose high school, a time when I felt awkward and unsure of myself. I did well grade-wise, had enough friends to look respectable, but I wasn’t on the “A-list.” I remember one of the most popular girls in school, a gorgeous blond cheerleader, who always had her nose in the air, when and if she ever spoke to me.  It was quite satisfying to see her again thirty years later at our high school reunion, fat and single.  Of course, I still found her stuck-up, but she no longer intimidated me.

When we first moved to San Antonio. The children were 2, 5, and 7---great ages! Notice the cowboy boots on the kids. We were going to be raising real Texans!

One thing I do know, and my husband would agree, if we could return to a former time in our lives for just a little while, it would be a time when we were a young family.  Our love is deep and sweet, but we miss that time when the kids were still with us, young enough to enjoy them without all the teenage angst and drama. Of course, time marches on, and it’s a good thing for it gives others the opportunity to enjoy what we have enjoyed.  Otherwise, my daughter would not have the joy of raising her own family, and we would not have the terrific son-in-law and daughter-in-law we have.  But wouldn’t it be magical if we could be a time traveler once  and just revisit a day or a month or a year in our former lives once in awhile?  Which times would you pick?

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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30 Responses to Time Traveler

  1. Leah says:

    I, too, loved The Time Traveller’s Wife. Didn’t see the movie either. I was thinking about this subject today actually, as I thought back to my high school years, my college years, and childhood. There are times in my life where I can remember being truly happy. But I do think I’m the happiest I’ve ever been now. Life may be tough, but it does keep getting better.

  2. Love, love, love the cowboy boots on the kids! Sweet family photo, Susan. Ah, going back in time…I’d probably pick when my kids were little too. Every season we experience in life is worth every minute.

  3. pattisj says:

    I did notice the boots, loved them! I’d like to visit with my grandma for awhile. She died when I was about ten.

  4. I love that book too. What an original idea and construct.
    For me, mid-30s were a wonderful time. Firmly at ease with adulthood, and still physically agile and fit. I love my 60s: at ease with my new body and face, happy with my place in life. (I wish never to return to the teen years or the fifties. Such in-between years, with so much unease and lessons to learn.)

  5. Emily says:

    A few weeks after my first daughter was born, I remember walking with her to the library and thinking, “this is a time I’ll always treasure” and it’s true. Right now, I think I’m living through the season I’ll always want to revisit.

    Thanks for this post! It was poignant and thought-provoking!

    • Coming East says:

      My little girl’s name is Emily, too, Emily, and I’m so glad you recognize that you are living in the season you will always want to revisit. And I love that you can connect with this senior! Thanks for commenting.

  6. sliceofshanghai says:

    Loved your young family picture! I can imagine the fun you had, and the memories made. That’s where I am now in my life, with my two young children. I can’t imagine how life would be when they turn teenagers. How was that like when your kids were teenagers? Sunshine and daisies everyday? or …. not?

  7. Huffygirl says:

    Love the family photo Susan.

    If I did go back, I’d want to take the wisdom and hindsight that I have now. I’d definitely like to revisit the birth of my children and hold them as little babies again, but I think I’d skip those sleepless nights.

  8. Hard to choose. I guess I would love some minutes back with my father and grandparents who are no longer with.
    Your family photo of your Texans is adorable. You children appear so poised and self-assured. Texas is a good place to raise kids, I think.

    • Coming East says:

      I, too, would love to see my parents and grandparents again, Georgette. And I’ve been getting a little weepy lately looking through those old photos. I miss my San Antonio and Austin so much. Wish we had time to go back and visit, but I think it would make me miss it even more. It was a great place to raise our kids!

  9. Amy says:

    Your post brings me sweet memories. Like one your readers, I don’t mind to go back to the time when I was eager to learn. Like you, I would choose the time when we were young family and when gravity was kind. Thank you for sharing your sentiment and the beautiful family picture!

  10. winsomebella says:

    I loved that book too. There are many times that I would like to visit again but I do not think I would want to go back for an extended stay. There are too many sweet moments in today and with the benefit of the wrinkles and sags and the time and “curves” under my belt, it seems easier to live with the challenges that life brings than it was in earlier years. Oh, and I could not help noticing that the homecoming queen who had it all “way back when” was pretty ordinary last I knew 🙂

  11. This was a tough one to answer. I honestly believe that whether I was generally happy or struggling, I have always been where I should have been in my life at that point with the positives and negatives. I would like to go back to college or graduate school for brief periods – I thrive on learning and new adventures. I would most like to relive one of our family reunions when all five of my family of origin was still here. Now there are two, I miss the empty chairs and would like to revisit occasions when they were full of sharing and laughter.

    • Coming East says:

      Same with me, Carol. My little family of origin started with the five of us, and now my brother and I are the only ones left. I would love to go back to a time when we were whole again.

  12. E.C. says:

    Your family photo s wonderful. I can imagine how much good fun it was back then for you all. Gotta love them boots.
    It’s bittersweet imagining traveling back to visit in time, my choice would be like yours, when we were a young family. Seeing my son young again would be a joy. And being able for us all once again to visit with many of our loved ones who’ve passed on would be so heartening.
    Interesting & bittersweet post to consider. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      Yes, E.C., it is bittersweet. But just as I wouldn’t want to return to being a little kid, neither would that time be the best for my kids, so it’s also nice to think about what wonderful adults they have become.

  13. Robin says:

    I have to agree with you about that time when our children were young. It was, as you wrote, a sweet time. When our youngest son got married (in 2009), my husband, our two sons and I traveled together from our house to the church. When the day was over and my husband and I were talking it over, he said his favorite part of the day was when we all got in the car together and spent that 40 minutes or so riding over to the church because it was the first time in a long time it was just the four of us together again. It was my favorite part of the day too (I wrote about it here: http://bogsofohio.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/wow/).

    • Coming East says:

      We all met at my daugher’s house for Thanksgiving this year, and it was wonderful all being under one roof again, Robin. I’ll take a look at that link you sent. Thanks.

  14. I like The Time Traveler’s Wife too. I saw the movie, but of course, the book was better. I think they always are. Great family picture! I think it’s fun to go back and look through old pictures and remember. Time rushes by and sometimes I don’t enjoy the moment while I’m in it. At least we have the memories to enjoy forever.

  15. Big Al says:

    This was a fun post, Susan, and loved that picture. You have a wonderful family and a equally wonderful outlook on your life, past present and future.

    It’s hard to pick the time I would revisit but the first thought that pops up is the moment I met Patty. I can still remember the “Oh, wow” feeling when I first saw her. And of course, the birth of our children. Those things are deeply etched, beautiful memories. (And I agree, any time when the bones didn’t creak when I move would be thrilling also.)

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