This Time Thing—Back Somewhere

It’s so surprising how time passes. Just yesterday I was in my mother’s arms, arching my back forward against her round belly, laughing at a time in some far-flung future when there would be “another one” between us. It was chaotic when he was born, months early.

And then just this evening, he reached out his arm to turn on the television and I noticed the outline of muscles he has worked so hard to build for the last two years of painstakingly regular gym sessions. His drive amazes me: he joined on the day he could and has been going since, determined to put some meat on his bones, and it’s taken him an awful long time, but I suppose the time was to pass anyway.

And here I thought, the time I dreamt of not so long ago, of embracing my mother with a little one between us, squished in our hug instead of in her belly has come and gone. He’s nearly six feet tall now, long legs and messy hair he refuses to cut too often. Time is so precious.

And even this last year which has confused me and enlightened me and made me hope and lose hope more than any other time in my life is so precious. It feels like it was a gifted last chance to get a really good look to really see where I come from for what it was, what it is. A whole lot of brokenness stitched together with threads of love. Too many people get only one chance.

Like they say, “you can’t go home again.” That final umbilical chord was cut long before I returned. But this half-return of sorts has been the chance to sit in on my past and gaze without the shrouds of pain clouding memories of faces, expressions, laughs, intimate moments watching old movies on the couch and eating popcorn, that I would have surely failed to remember.

I feel by now like the lone piece of a foreign puzzle privy to the workings of a well-oiled machine. Mom’s tantrums in the mornings when he won’t wake up for school, the creaking of the wood as they rush down the old stairs, the dog begging for treats, their movie nights. Their jokes.

And every time I hear his giggle I feel a tinge of sadness rush in with the immense pride and joy you can only feel for such a much younger sibling. The melancholy of a certain greed as the sands of time slip past my fingertips just before I can be sure I’ve fully savoured each moment.

 

 

 

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