Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Taking Time

Today I arrived what I thought was twenty minutes late to the first class of a writing course I'm taking at an area art museum. Turns out I was actually one week, 6 days, 23 hours and 40 minutes early. I only wish I had taken the time to look a little more closely at the schedule before I lined up a babysitter and got in the car for the first leg of the hour-long round trip.

Admittedly, I have never had a close relationship with the clock or the calendar. It is a mutual disrespect, to be sure. Time doesn't wait for me and I don't bother trying to catch up. It works out okay in day-to-day living (barring incidents like this), but in the grander scheme, we all know who will win the race.

Time is a cosmic middle finger waggling in perpetuity just beyond my line of sight. It was subtle before I had my baby, but now I feel its presence almost as palpably as I do the literal digits being thrust in my direction every time I make an innocent merging mistake on the Interstate. Time has it out for me.

The Boss is 18 months old, and I now have the distinct and harrowing privilege of saying that she is no longer a baby. I look at her toes and I can see that those feet are made for walking. They are not blobs of flesh and fledgling bone designed solely to be tucked into a swaddle, covered in non-reinforced footie pajamas, or adorned in Robeez. Their purpose now is to get her from Point A (her life with me) to Point B (her own life). I stare at those feet in between twitching glances to either side, where I expect at any moment to see Time's hand held up in insult.

On a good day I can look forward. There are exciting milestones to be uncovered on all her walks--into new schools, new cities, new aisles of graduation and marriage. She may walk alongside her own children.

On a bad day, I feel the push. There's no lingering. It's full speed ahead whether I like it or not. The Boss doesn't feel any of it, though, and she moves forward in clumsy definace of the fact that her momentum is not her own.

I suppose there's not much I can do about it. There are only two things that come to mind, really. I can write while she naps, grabbing these fleeting moments greedily and hurtling them in cyberspace where Time can't reach.

And when she wakes, I can tackle and tickle her, delving into the crevices of each toe while she bends back in spastic, twinkling laughter borne of a year and a half of experience.


jen said...

i love this. aside from how well you consistently write, you captured that essence so well..the newness taking on a newer newness.

there was a time about a month ago when i picked up M, and it hit me, how big she's become, so suddenly, and for the briefest minute i wanted that little bundle back, and then, realized, it's all about facing the sun.

really nice post.

T. said...

Well done Binky.

I'd like to point out that you don't need writing lessons. However, I am a little worried about your merging skills and thus a reeducation in driver's training is in order?

Mary-LUE said...

Give THe Boss some hugs and kisses from me. My son, 14, is way, way past hugs and kisses and my daughter is getting too big to pick up. :( She'll still let me hug her but tells me "No kisses!" on a regular basis. Sigh. It does go way too fast.

Kate said...

Nice way of putting how quickly our kids grow. My oldest son is starting kindergarten this year and already has feet 2/3 the size of mine. Which is totally unbelievable to me, since I remember like it was yesterday buying his first pair of shoes.

lildb said...

yeah, yes. I feel more and more like time is my enemy, lately.