It happened as we were on our way to Kyle's indoor soccer game at the Mayor Ralph A. Infante Wellness Center in Niles. We were driving along, happily enjoying the first Tuesday of November when the radio station we were listening to started to play ... Christmas music.
My ears were still ringing from the dinging and donging of the premature holiday bells on the way back home when the little gal behind the counter at the Dunkin' Donuts on Niles-Cortland Road handed me my coffee and cocoa and said ... "Happy Holidays!"
Um, is there another one prior to - and being bundled with - Thanksgiving with which I am unfamiliar?
People, people, is it me or does the hastening of the Christmas/Hanukkah season start earlier and earlier every year?
I swear I saw a Christmas commercial before Labor Day.
And I wasn't sure whether to be angry with Father Time or Mother Nature, but since she's been sending us spring-like temperatures lately - and out of loyalty to the sisterhood of woman - I figured I should focus my ire on the former.
Dude, why the rush? I mean, isn't it enough that my nearly 11-year-old is telling me that he can't wait until middle school's over so that he can get to high school and start working on scholarships for The Ohio State University?
College talk. In fifth grade. Really?
Father Time, what have I ever done to you?
Oh, sure, I was once the impatient child who wanted to zip past teen-dom and dive headlong into adulthood in a week. OK, I'm sorry, all right?
I figured we were even when you started sending me gray hair at age 20, but apparently, you're still holding a grudge.
What else could be the explanation for the warp speed at which you're catapulting me through life?
I mean, I was scarcely used to being in my 30s when WHAM! - you slapped me upside the head with the big 4-0. And two-and-a-half years have gone by since then - even though it only seems like a few weeks.
Why can't you ever allow us to just sit back and enjoy the current time, season, stage, phase we're approaching or - heaven forbid - actually in, Sir Time?
No, it's not enough that you're increasing gravity on me with each passing second, that you've hidden my short term memory, and that you stole my smooth facial skin and replaced it with wrinkles, blemishes and random whiskers - but last night, you viciously made the unkindest cut to date.
"Mom, you realize of course that I've known the truth about Santa Claus for about two years now. I was just always afraid you'd freak out if you knew I knew," said my son as I reached far behind me to dig Father Time's dagger out of my back.
My baby - in the full North Pole know? No more cookie crumbs strategically placed on the mantle, carrots carefully nibbled into nubs near the hearth, or half-gulped glass of milk curdling in the Christmas morning sun? Oh, the tragedy ... the sadness ... the innocence lost.
And just as I was about to throw in the towel and accept defeat, my little pal Samantha Phillips of Sebring gave me a philosophical shot of Botox.
Said Samantha, "Don't be sad, Patty. Just think of it this way - now Kyle will join you in focusing on the real reason for the celebration of Christmas. What could be better?"
Oh yeah, and take that, Father Time.
---- Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.