Several years ago for Christmas, my husband bought me a beautiful silver tone watch with a black leather band; he chose this watch for its elegance and its size. The face is small and the strap delicate, soft and pliable the perfect fit for my slight wrists.
The first time I wore my watch it broke. I wore it maybe a few hours at most. The frame surrounding the date located near the VI fell off and lodged itself underneath the minute hand. It took me ages to send it out to be repaired.
Running out the door the other day, later than I should as is often the case; I grabbed my watch and stuffed it into the back of the diaper bag. Once the kids were strapped in, I started the car and affixed my timepiece to my wrist. It wasn’t until I was standing in the store that I noticed my watch had stopped. A dead battery I mused? Then I noticed the date, 14…it was no longer the 14th. After further examination, I realized the frame was once again dislodged and stuck underneath the minute hand, rendering it forever 6:08 on the 14th. At first I thought it befitting I should have a broken watch. I’m seldom prompt. I am either very early or a few minutes late. Try as I might to plan and prepare for inevitable distractions and delays.
Staring at my broken watch, cursing its fault I notice just how quickly the days have elapsed. They’ve escaped me, without my realizing. My watch is trying to grant me the extra time I am always pleading for. There is never enough time to finish everything; every time I turn around another day has passed, another month, another year, a tumult of events leaving me wondering how so much has changed, how the kids have gotten so big, why so much hasn’t changed.
It seems impossible my son is nearly a year old and my daughter is nearing five. Time feels like it’s stealing her childhood, that I cannot keep pace. In my constant rush and distraction she has somehow gone from a baby to a little girl. I wish I could hold my kids a little longer, make time stop for them, for me I guess. I wish I could kiss my daughter as a baby again, take that extra time to play with her instead of washing the kitchen floor for the second time. I realize all of the time I’ve lost rushing around, worrying about inane things or running around to accomplish what felt like a vital task.
I watch my son running now and cannot believe a year ago he was not born. Yet life beckons, clocks tick, second hands chastise me for not finishing what I have to, for not leaving when I am supposed to. I can’t seem to slow time down, to slow myself down to stop. Rote daily routines turn into ridiculous ritual all the while time speeds forward mocking me.