I used to think of ‘time’ as a line with no particular beginning and stretching far away into the distance before disappearing into misty clouds. In my mind the days were marked with notches, Saturday and Sunday being taller notches, as there was no school on those days and more possibility for adventures. At weekends and during the school holidays we would leave the house early in the morning and not get back till tea time. We made dens and paddled or swam in the river, we walked with the dogs just to see how far we could get in a day, sometimes experiencing the wrath of farmers whose fields we were crossing.
Time seemed to be endless, waiting for Christmas or birthdays felt like an eternity, but as the only treats or presents we got were on these occasions, the anticipation made up for it. Although I enjoyed school, sometimes waiting for the bell to ring during double maths or biology felt as if time had stood still. Looking at my watch every minute willing it to be home time.
With all my pregnancies, time seemd to drag interminably, I couldn’t wait for the baby to be born. The due date would arrive and pass and each day after seemed as long as the previous nine months, ending up with being induced. Next time, I would promise myself, I’ll wait for the baby to arrive naturally, but by 40 weeks I was climbing the walls. Each day not knowing if this would be the day, was driving me mad and restless.
Once they were born I was impatient for them to achieve those milestones that we are led to believe are so important – especially with the first. Would they ever talk, walk, sleep! I was fuzzy with exhaustion and the days seemed even longer. Would tonight be the night I got more than 3 hours unbroken sleep?
I couldn’t wait for them to be old enough to go to playgroup, so I could have some peace and quiet for a couple of hours. I was keen for them to start school so I could have time for myself instead of endless repetetive games and reading and re-reading the same stories.
Time shuffled on then all at once the last child was 18, how did that happen? She moved out, following her three older brothers. The nest was empty and the house quiet. Now I have all the hours I want to myself, time is looming large and empty, weekends and weekdays are all the same and time is dragging again. This time I know I should make the most of it, because before you know it, it’s gone altogether.