Time has been treacherous lately, whether it’s managing the preschool snack responsibility schedule or just keeping bread in the house, I seem to be on a wheel spinning faster than I can carry my feet. We haven’t had any complete busts, but there have been forgotten backpacks and tardy arrivals. My nights, once long enough to fit blog entries and tv, have become a startling whoosh of checking the mail to chucking the night’s unfinished dinners into the trash after a lengthy bedtime routine.

Sean and I are working together, literally in the same office, yet our rhythm is off, taking me back to my hurdling days— stutter steps to avoid a spill from misjudging distance or awkward lunges to try and catch up. There is no anger, but unapologetic exhaustion and disappointment fill the air.

The girls are a carousel; alternately gay and inviting or cacophonous and harrowing. They spin round and round, their braids and pigtails unravelling and their necks longer with each passing moment. I pause to track the pattern, to find my way on, to at least be upon the same wave of time, but as I prepare to leap there is a crescendo—a tooth.

A word.
A triumph of autonomy that nearly mocks me with its finality.

My weariness, a growing awareness of this passage of time, of the inevitability of their growing. Leaving. I see myself, the lines of my body beautiful and strong, the architecture of my face familiar and forgiven. I want to live in this moment, throw back my head and leave the dishes for another day while I spin with Sean, deep romantic dips by moonlight in the kitchen. I want to sprawl along the floor and frolic with the girls. I am desperate to explode within now. I want not to look back even a year from now and think, “Why didn’t I just do it?”

And yet, as he rubs my shoulders or as they beg for a story, I find myself tragically frozen, wistful for what has already passed, devastated by the time tomorrow will mark as gone. I throw this out now to startle myself. A jump start. No more ruing what I haven’t done. The prick of aging and missing can be caresses of achieving and choosing, if I only forgive myself my mortality. My imperfections.

I just want to catch up to my now.


My now just woke. A howl from upstairs, my order back from my reverie. We do this day by day, don’t we? By the time I get up those stairs I am going to have forgiven myself, because not to, well that’s just unforgivable, isn’t it?