Friday, May 13, 2011

Time Is (Not) On My Side

Life, it seems, is a blur to most people. Days pass. Months, weeks, years. Time trickles through our fingers like water, impossible to hang onto or stop from passing us by. Sometimes for a fleeting moment, I can agree with this theory--particularly when I consider things like how my Dad has nearly been gone two and a half years. TWO AND A HALF YEARS seems beyond impossible. But frankly, most of the time, I'm of the school of thought that thinks time moves slowly and life is long.

I credit this belief to being a mother.

Most mornings, I wake up after three hours of sporadic sleep and many hours wandering the house, reading, and sipping tea and think, "FINALLY." Followed shortly after by, "Will the fucking school bus (dinner, bedtime-- it's really rather fill-in-the-blank here) EVER COME?" This morning I had been awake for approximately seven minutes when, while sitting at the table while Sutt ate his breakfast, half asleep and hating the world, I watched Belly laughingly put her socks on her hands while screeching, "Look at my beautiful gloves!" I mumbled, "You look like you're ready for a tea party at the looney bin." And Sutt replied (still eating), "Isn't that the place where Papa and all the old people live?"

Um, no. That's the Assisted Living Facility. But, whatever. THIS IS WHAT I'M DEALING WITH, PEOPLE.

Every damn day I get older. I probably get more lines on my face and fat cells in my body, and absolutely receive more damage to my brain (courtesy of the minions) and my liver (courtesy of the amount of alcohol required to manage said minions). I realize that I'm supposed to be "making the most" of this shit that is my "youth" (in some circles-- personally, I think I'm rather aged {side note: that is to be pronounced ag-ed, please}) but I'm JUST FUCKING TRYING TO GET BY. Survival is key. I drink. I swear. I wear cute shoes and bathe my kids and kiss my husband and mop my floors and hope my dog is secretly immortal because I LOVE HER and can't imagine life without her. I have friends. I work. Life is good (and long and long and longer, still).

I wonder sometimes if when I'm dying I will think, "What the HELL was wrong with me, to waste all that precious time? To wish it away, to live it like every minute had ten minutes more?" Or if, like I do every morning, I will think, "FINALLY."

One can't help but wonder.

We, as a whole, waste food and money and gasoline and love, anger and frustration and jealousy and hate. But time? Can you really waste time? Or, like your skin, do you have to know it's there for a while and that you have to put forth at least a little effort to protect it, but that there's no true way to appreciate it fully? Because that's kind of how I feel. Because if I didn't, I'd hate myself for living so far away from my Mom, for all the years I lived so far away from my Dad, for the minutes my children are out of my sight, or the days that Blaker is floating away on a ship in the Atlantic. Regardless of how crazy any of them make me, when you think of the time you have with them in measured, certain minutes, it's frightening.

But then, Sutton starts to cry because I won't buy (or catch) him a "wobin" (Robin) a "wizard" (lizard) or a bunny for a pet and I realize that it will always be frightening. Even if I am 100 years old, it will be scary to part with this tangible self of mine. And, life, again, becomes shorter.

And I exhale.

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