My Pretty Pony

“Who will free me from hurry, flurry, the feeling of a crowd pushing behind me, of being hustled and crushed? How can I regain even for a minute the feeling of ample leisure I had during my early, my creative years? Then I seldom felt fussed, or hurried. There was time for work, for play, for love, the confidence that if a task was not done at the appointed time, I easily could fit it into another hour. I used to take leisure for granted, as I did time itself.”

-Bernard Berenson, Sunset and Twilight, from the Diaries of 1947-1958

There are days in which time slows to a crawl. After a long day, the last 15 minutes of the drive home – dark, and filled with the inconsolable cries of both children – are an eternity. The hours in which a sick baby will not sleep, an irritable preschooler will not listen, drag on far longer than their true temporal length. But for the most part, time whooshes past like Douglas Adams’ deadlines.

I don’t know how to slow it down. I don’t know if I even want to. But sometimes I long for the days in which I could stare dreamily at nothing – I had my best ideas in those moments. I want to know, in the middle of a bad day, that there will be boundless other good days; that way, I might resent the bad ones less, for eating away at my precious time with my kids. I want to plan fun activities to alleviate boredom, not so I have something to differentiate March from June.

I want more time. For everything. Because despite my best efforts, it feels like time is slipping through my fingers. Especially when I read things like this blog post, which turn me into a weepy mess years before I even have to contemplate my kids being grown.

There is no way I could ever pick a favorite Stephen King short story, but one that I return to time and again is My Pretty Pony. I was underwhelmed by it on first reading – but I was very young, and time was still dragging for me. As I got older, I developed a glimmer of understanding, but the story still didn’t resonate. Not like it does now, when years pass in an instant and I feel like there will never be enough time for everything I want to do. I am still not sure I completely understand where King was going with that story, but I certainly understand where he was coming from.

From here. The land of Where’s the Pause button on this life?

My baby is one. He walks. He occasionally talks. He has a tooth, and another on the way. My baby is not a baby anymore. And my toddler is now a preschooler, who will in a few short months actually begin attending school. When she has a bad day, she is able to explain to me why she is behaving the way she is. When I have a bad day, she nurtures me. And she is a good nurturer. My baby girl is now…a child.

There will be no more babies for me. I may, like TWD’s Morgan, hold a baby again someday – but it will not be my baby. I am both excited for what is to come and in deep, deep mourning for the loss – so quickly! – of my baby years.

Such is life, I guess. So it goes. My pretty pony.

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