Writer’s Corner: In the Blink of an Eye

Sondra Wainer

Writer’s Corner: In the Blink of an Eye
March 26
00:00 2020

By Sondra Wainer

David, my son, turned 49 today. I have no idea how that happened.

It seems just the “blink-of-an-eye” ago that he was eleven years old, standing in front of me with his mop of red curls and those blue eyes that always turned a shade darker when he was really passionate about something. I couldn’t miss his intensity as he was telling me that he wanted a newspaper route.

My first thought was, are you serious? You are just eleven and you would have to get up seven days a week at 4:30 in the morning to fold and deliver papers to over 300 apartments. 

Instead of voicing my first reaction, I took a breath – a really deep breath! I reminded him this was a walking route and the neighbors expected their papers to be placed at their front door, not in the yard and definitely not on their roof. To deter his enthusiasm a bit more, I reminded him that as soon as he got home from school, he would have to do it all over again. (In those days, we had both a morning and an evening edition of the local newspaper.) David’s blue eyes deepened a shade darker.

I realized that this was really important to him. Then a little voice inside me said, “Give him his wings.” So, even though I felt that this was too much responsibility for an eleven year old, I reluctantly gave in.

Each morning when I heard the front door close, I would look out the window and watch his slender body, slightly bowed under the weight of all the papers, disappear down the sidewalk, sometimes trailed by a scuffy-looking dog. (It was months later that I found out that the “scuffy-looking dog” that sometimes waddled along behind him was actually a neighborhood possum that wasn’t quite ready to call it a night.)

Sunday mornings were special. David had to split his route into two trips because of all the extra insertions that were packed into the papers. While he delivered the first half, I would sit on the floor and fold the remaining papers, just the way he taught me to do. I had developed a new skill set!

When David returned home from his Sunday deliveries, I would have pancakes, French toast, or cinnamon rolls ready for us to share. Because of our hectic weekday schedule, these treats were too time-consuming to prepare during the week. Sunday mornings were our time to share our love of books, music, animals and other things we  enjoyed over a special breakfast.

Today David’s curls are gone, the red hair has faded a bit, but his blue eyes still darken a shade when he is feeling passionate about something. However, he is no longer eleven.

Deep down in a special part of my heart are the precious memories that I will always cherish of that eleven-year-old paperboy who, “in the blink of an eye,” has turned 49. 

And I still wonder: how did that happen?

Sondra Wainer is retired, lives in Winston-Salem, and is a first-time participant in Senior Games/SilverArts literary competition.

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