Some days I sit in a state of exhaustion and wonder – as I’m sure many parents and adults do – what happened to free time? What did I used to DO with all my free time? I’ve never felt lazy and I’ve always felt busy. I can’t remember a period when I wasn’t working and/or in school. Sure I used to run a lot (for fitness and pleasure – just to clarify – not because I was being chased or was a fugitive). I know we used to dine out and visit friends and travel more. I’ve always felt myself a fairly social and productive member of society. But as nearly every second of my time is now filled with parental responsibilities (says the girl typing a useless blog post – don’t judge me) , I can’t help but feel I wasted too many hours.
Anyone who has spent more than 8 minutes with me has likely put up with my whining that Hazel is a terrible sleeper. She is otherwise objectively perfect, of course, but she has always been – and still is – a raging insomniac and restless sleeper. I’m sure I’ll post more on this issue some other time (I can sense the anticipation!!). Between nap and bed time I figure I spend, as a conservative average, 90+ minutes a day attempting to get her to sleep. Because I like math and I have a spare 45 seconds, that equates to nearly 2 months of my life I have spent ONLY rocking/walking/laying with/wrestling/coercing my child to sleep. TWO MONTHS?! Now I am grateful for every second I have with her – truly – even when it’s 49 minutes into our nightly thunderdome that is bedtime, but I can’t help but think of all the amazing and productive things I could have otherwise done with those two whole months. I mean, I DEFINITELY would have had time to exercise and would probably look like Gisele’s (shorter, homelier, paler) sister right about now. Would I have learned another language? Most likely. Traveled the globe? Perhaps. Built a rocket ship? If it were in my budget, yes. But….what I REALLY could and should have done with these spare hours? Built a TIME MACHINE.
Please don’t think me crazy, but how is it 2013 and we don’t have a time machine? We can converse and view a loved one on the other side of the world within seconds. We’ve discovered neutrinos and black holes and there’s even research into superfluids – materials that defy gravity and flow up vertical surfaces (Seriously! Google it!). But why do I give a rat’s turd about my spilled milk hitting the ceiling instead of the floor when I could TRAVEL through TIME. It doesn’t even have to be a DeLorean. Sure people say it’s “not possible.” They talk about the space-time continuum and all that jazz. But what about NASA? What’s this talk about “wormholes” and “cosmic strings”? Allow me to take my nerd hat off and get to the point. If someone could whip up a time machine in my lifetime, that would be grand – because life just goes too damn fast.
I don’t want to be able to change history – just to observe and relive moments. Is that so much to ask? Maybe it’s motherly hormones and maybe it’s just because I’m a pansy, but sometimes I look at Hazel and get a big ol’ lump in my throat and think, “How did we get here?” Everyone tells you to “cherish every moment,” and warns you how it “goes so fast.” Like any stable citizen, I nod politely and say something expected and cliché in response, though in my head I’m usually thinking, easy for you to say…you didn’ t just get vomited on nor are you literally wiping someone’s dirty arse right now but thanks for the pep talk person in ladies restroom I will never see again. And yet, it’s true. Until one goes through it, you can’t describe it…you can’t do this feeling justice. But it is 100% unequivocally true.
When Hazel spouts out “I love you mommy,” or runs to the door to greet me or laughs at my stupid jokes, I want nothing more than for time to stop. I think of the obnoxious, eye-rolling adolescent I witnessed in line at the coffee shop, I picture the 14-year-old patient who keeps her hair in her eyes and refuses to eat because someone – in R-rated terms – told her her body was undesirable. And I want nothing more than to put the future on pause. Sure there will be countless more happy and loving moments; there will be so, so many good days to come. But every day she gets older and every day she will become more independent and some day I will be sitting, waiting for her to come home from a movie or a “date,” and I will want nothing more than to be 49 minutes into a warm, snuggly, defiant yet loving night of “thunderdome.”
So as a request – a plea – to someone out there much smarter than I, please…please make a time machine. Try to whip up one with a “rewind” button and a “pause” and even a “fast forward” for the difficult times (I picture a time machine as a remote control…technology is clearly my thang). But I won’t be picky. If you show up looking like Dr. Brown in one of these beauties, I’d be cool with that: