Tuesday, January 29th, 2013...9:44 pm
Time crushes in on me from the very moment I open my eyes and beg the clock for just ten more minutes of sleep. When the begging stops and my feet hit the floor, the moments start ticking, start mocking me for how slowly I am moving, start taunting me with how many moments I am missing.
I have to hurry up so I’m not late for work.
I have to hurry up so I’m not late for class.
I have to hurry up.
I walk fast – a trait I inherited from my mother, who probably also felt the immense pressure of time. I hold my books to my chest and walk as though I’m in a race. Slow down, people say. And I laugh.
I can’t slow down.
The final bell rings and I feel time ticking away again. The familiar crush of all those moments I’ve been away. At 4:18 when the day is over and my students leave, each second apart from my own kids starts to steal my breath away. I rush to pack up my things, to turn off the computers, to neaten up the stacks of papers.
I rush down the stairs and into my car and out of my parking space and into the line of cars waiting to make their exit.
If I could drive over all of them and straight to Nora and Miles I would.
Yesterday Nora was waiting at the gate, looking for me. I heard her teacher say, “Your mom and dad miss you at the end of the day as much as you miss them.”
For a few brief moments as I collect my children and their things, time slows down. I am there. They are there. We are together. We hold hands and hug bodies and wave goodbye and walk together, slowly, to the car. I’m pretty sure those sidewalks are the only ones that know it is indeed possible for me to walk slowly. We point to birds and bugs and cars and trucks and flowers and weeds. Everything matters and nothing matters and we are together heading toward the car. Everything in front of us.
In the house after a long day the time starts ticking again. Dinner has to be fixed. Lunch boxes cleaned out. Dishes done.
But Miles and I try to escape the crush of time outside under the setting sun. We let the rays wash over us, staring at each other and and the grass and the tree and the simplicity of running free. If we are outside, time can’t catch us. I click photos of him, freezing moments for later when it all rushes in at me again.
But eventually time wins and we have to head inside.
It’s time to eat and time to play and time to clean up and time to take a bath and time to read stories and time to sing songs and time to sleep.
I close my eyes, hoping for good sleep, restful sleep, uninterrupted by toddlers sleep. I already feel the morning looming.
And then it starts all over again.
Linking up with Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary for JustWrite.