I have never been more aware of TIME than I have as a parent.
It has become more intimate to me, like an old friend. I have seen how it can change, moment to moment. I understand its’ need to march on.
There I am, on the playground, helping Maddie, now 2, navigate the play structures. She is hesitant, curious, so NEW to it all. Other children rush by, so loud and clumsy. I worry about them trampling my young daughter. They touch her, to help, to play, and I go on high alert, wary of their influence. I wonder where the parents are, appalled at their lack of supervision.
And then, I BLINK, and I am on the other side. We are at the very same park. Maddie, now 4, runs across the sand. She stops to help a toddler off the slide. The mother is there, smiling, but nervous, scanning the play area. I know she is looking for me, the unseen parent, safely ensconced on my bench, my iPhone in hand.
There I am, in our bedroom, holding my 3 month old daughter, Juliet, content and peaceful, listening to the world spin outside.
I BLINK and I am suddenly in the car, racing to pick up Maddie from preschool. Racing to the grocery store. Racing to her soccer class. Making dinner. Giving her a bath. Reading books. I do not notice when night falls anymore, but I know it will happen, and I am not surprised when I look out and see the moon instead of the sun.
I cherish the still moments of the day now, and appreciate any TIME that is given to me.
All I need is 5 minutes…to do a load of laundry, or wash the dishes, or pay some bills, or take out the trash, or read the newspaper, or mow the lawn, or hang a picture, or check email. I have learned to chip away at tasks. Maddie’s playhouse is about halfway complete, built entirely in 20 minute intervals. I have been working on it for 2 years now.
Having an hour…Wow. I cannot even conceive of this notion. My mind overheats.
I think about the future a lot and I try to prepare.
I think about the past a lot, too, with a warm fondness and a deeper appreciation.
All I can do is play along and hope that TIME is kind to me.