Do you ever feel like your life is like the big red sand timer in "The Wizard of Oz?" One minute you think that first six weeks of your infant's life will never end and the next minute your baby is 8 months old smiling and laughing and trying to squeal. You think getting up in the middle of the night with a teething infant will never end and the next minute you're still up in the middle of the night with a four year old's earache. A wise friend of mine recently said of motherhood, "the days drag and the years fly by." Truer words were never spoken.
This time of day (2:30 til bedtime) is the hardest part of my day. It absolutely drags with all ten toes, droopy eyelids, and a rolled out bottom lip. I admit I resort to movies if playing outside isn't an option--and even if it is. I mean just how many trips down the sidewalk can one make in the wagon? But somehow, once the boys are in bed and I am on my way to bed I wonder where the time went. What was it I did all day that has left me exhausted and strangely bereft? Did I miss an opportunity to teach them something? Did I miss a moment of fun or a funny statement or a glimmer of a new skill? I grieve for just a second knowing I will not get the day back. Then I grieve because I don't have the energy to give my husband the attention that he needs. Then I go to bed too tired to go on, knowing that in exactly 6 hours somebody is going to be up and that last two hours of sleep I so desperately need will slip into the daylight and dance away.
Somehow, the concept of time is almost worse than the concept of guilt. For mothers, time is as much as enemy as guilt, or exhaustion. There is much too much of it and not enough of it all in the same breath. I never seem to give myself permission to let go of time the way I have finally conquered guilt. I really need to work on this. I am working on staying present and being in the moment. Unfortunately, often times the world will not wait and things do have to get done. Sometimes one of my children needs me more than the other, but the other cannot comprehend why this is so. Another girlfriend calls it "the need triage." As a mother of three under three, two of them twins, she said she had to learn to let go of somebody at least once each day. You can't meet every need every second every time. Life goes on. It is sage advice. Now I just need to follow it!
Maybe, just maybe, Hermione will let me borrow her "time turner" from The Prisoner of Azkahban. Of course, then I might see myself yelling at my kids and have to fly myself straight to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies. I look quite fetching on a broomstick. Until that day, I will just have to learn to let go of time. Turn off the phone and cell. Turn on the answering machine. Take off the watch. Leave the keys in the purse. Eat when we get hungry. Change activities when we're bored. Sleep when we're tired. If it works, let me know.