"The Time-change of Motherhood"

[I got a last-minute email from my friend, artist and writer Kindra Fehr, awhile back, asking other Moms if they would help with a column she was writing about the meanings/interpretations of parenthood.  This was my reply.  It appeared in Catalyst Magazine.  I know it doesn't exactly fit into the typical vibe of this blog, but having and raising children is inherently creative, and it is on my mind so much, so I hope you will indulge me.  Thanks!]

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I feel a distinct compression of time these days...time I used to spend languidly sleeping or wandering the aisles at Wild Oats or Barnes and Noble is now punctuated by my awareness of this tiny person. Sometimes she needs me; sometimes I just find myself less able to float in my own world because I now have this little moon in my life.

It also means experiencing that time compression in her growth. As Lowen & Navarro said in one of their songs, “the days go by so slowly, but the years go by so fast.” It’s like that. She’s suddenly 18 months old and all those long stretches between the end of her afternoon nap and putting her down to bed have crunched right down to a year and a half that’s flashed by in what feels like a minute. My life experiences have become mp3s instead of records.

I’m more aware of lifespan and energy (the get-out-of-bed kind, not the law-of-attraction/reiki kind, though I think about that too).  Will my parents know Daisy as a young woman?  Will Mark and I be as energetic and enthusiastic and passionate about life as we feel now when she is beginning her adult journey?  Will we look old and wrinkly and not cool (or God forbid, old people trying to be too cool)?  Will she make it through all the bizarre choices we make as children and teenagers to a healthy grown-up life?  Hope doesn’t even come close to describing what I feel here.

I think about how I spend the time I have with Daisy.  Am I teaching her enough or the right things?  I hope I am making the most of our hours and moments with her at this young age.  I hope I will be able to grow with her and offer her the best parts of my Mom’s mothering of me as her birthright.  I hope I will somehow avoid the weirdness between mothers and daughters that comes at adolescence, but still remain her parent and protector.  I think 50 times a day about how she might be at age 3 or 7 or 10 or 30.

I wonder if I passed away today if she would remember me at all.  I wonder at what she may teach me someday.

Being a mother means surrendering to the changing face of time.


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