Reflections On Time: Part I

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.

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11 thoughts on “Reflections On Time: Part I

  1. Jomama says:

    What a beautiful post, Dave! I have pictures from a calendar DH made of our boys from 5 years ago, and I still have trouble believing that cute little kid hunting for Easter eggs is actually a foot taller now, and doing multiplication in his head!

    1. goo goo dadda says:

      Thanks Jomama!

      Wow, 1 foot taller…that’s a measurable difference, isn’t it?!

      SO, if you could contact your past self, what parenting advice would you give her? What do you know now that you didn’t a few years ago?

      πŸ™‚

  2. Mike says:

    Wonderful post, Dave–you really capture the surreal hiccups of time as a parent, especially in the early years. I only wish you wrote more, but I guess I can see…you might not really have time for that right now!!

    Great job!

    1. goo goo dadda says:

      Thanks for the encouraging words!

      I really appreciate it.

      I have a whole list of ideas. I’m trying to improve my writing process and override my perfectionist tendencies. Having kids has done wonders in that department, but I still have a lot to learn!

      BTW, I enjoyed your April Fools Day activities! Wow, I want to live in THAT house!

  3. Lara says:

    OMG, i know what you mean. Manda’s 11, and will be 12 soon. TOO much has happened and I can barely catch my breath let alone a thought.
    I cried during the opening montage of Up! Manda didn’t quite get it. Andy did & we cuddled closer πŸ™‚
    Life may be more difficult with a kid, but it’s certainly a lot richer.
    And *yes*, thank goodness, she loves Monty Python. Whew. I’m still working on Hitchhiker’s Guide.

  4. Jomama says:

    I never responded to your question about parenting advice for my past self…I think the one thing I really regret is not getting help for Barley and his sensory/anger issues sooner. Though we have been seeking guidance for years now, and are still fumbling in the dark.

    I guess I don’t really have any advice yet–I still feel in the dark about a lot of what we are doing. DH and I stare at each other at the end of each day, and wonder if we did the right things that day or not.

    Rereading your post, I think I want to remember to try to take time and enjoy my children every day. Not as simple as it sounds with all the pressures of work, finances, schedule, homework. It seems like every day is a battle sometimes. But we should be able to find that magical 5 minutes you described.

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