it differs, doesn’t it. There’s the invisible flavour of time, the one that is perfect and glorious and akin to what we’d think of as “flow”. Babies live there. Toddlers, too.
Time can seem like molasses, slow and sticky. This is big-kid time. My oldest daughter and her perpetual countdowns – to Christmas, to birthday. This holds the luxury of boredom and the treasure that comes from not knowing what time it is.
But then there’s time that seems like quicksand … she’s speedy and elusive and unpredictable. It evaporates like a chemical in the heat and leaves you rubbing your eyes in confusion. This might be mama’s time.
I ache for more time. I long for more lazy lollygagging with my little girls. We publish blogs for one another about how to unplug our lives and connect with our kids – but then we plug in to read them, and to write them. I’m doing that right now.
I want time to connect with pals. I want time to write, and work uninterrupted. If my children are magically occupied my work-from-home husband inevitably comes looking for me.
I want time for my yoga practice and for reading. I would love to sit and daydream now and again. Meanwhile, I flinch at the time spent cleaning house and love/hate my computer time in equal measure.
Mamas seem to have an equally schizophrenic relationship with time when they talk about their children – “when Joseph starts school it will be easier to xyz”, and meanwhile “I don’t ever want Joseph to grow up”. A writer and blogger who I dig called Meghan Nathanson put it so beautifully I did the involuntary well-up when I read it:
I’ve begun to care once more about what happens outside of my familial cocoon. I feel a little bit like a toddler, though. There is a certain “push-pull” that I am experiencing. Some days, I wish for a more stretchy cord. Other days, I’d rather be nestled back in a dark room, rocking a baby into slumber.
Lordy, Meghan. I’m right there with you.
And I’ve been reading (albeit reeeeeeally slowly) the beautiful book “The Blue Jay’s Dance” by the astronomically talented Louise Erdrich. It is both a comfort and a hurt to hear another mother’s voice describe motherhood so acutely. And the tension between wanting to parent how we wanna – how we oughta – and that discomfort that comes from an unexpressed self. At one point she writes:
One reason there is not a great deal written about what it is like to be the mother of a new infant is that there is rarely a moment to think of anything else besides that infant’s needs.
It aches. I ache.
Sorry, geeks. All introspective and grouchy today. Overtired, and suffering from the effects of day after day of nor’west winds. The original inhabitants of my island call them Te Hau Kai Tangata or The Winds that Devour Humanity.
On this occasion, time cannot pass quickly enough. Make the wretched winds sToP!!