Lately, technology has been a stark reminder of time.
I’ve come to realize it’s not that life whizzes by too quickly or that time ticks too slowly. The truth is, time just passes without any change in pace whatsoever. How we manage it determines how we view it, like looking through a glass of water.
Yesterday, I climbed the attic steps and discovered my old smelly typewriter, I smiled. How long had it been since I’d replaced it with the newer technology, an odorless plastic keyboard that didn’t need ribbon. I miss that, as I miss my daughter’s hair ribbons now.
I stopped writing when she was born, because I imagined time wouldn’t wait up, or slow down for me to fully experience motherhood. I decided it would be well worth it, to feel my kids sneaking up on me. They’d struggle to contain happy giggles, as they slipped and slid across our wooden floors in stocking feet, determined to catch me off guard in a loving surprise. All of the carefree giddiness of childhood, set free from curled lips before the age of teen modesty!
I relished the thought that they would reach from behind and cover my eyes with their little round hands. And more than anything, I wanted my response to be simply happy. Expressed by my feigned surprise and their squeals of delight at having surprised me. Of course they hadn’t, but what did that matter?
Later, in their rooms by the night light, I’d read someone else’s words to them and miss my own. And I never thought to shut the book too soon, or to shut them out. It was important for them know I would be there when they woke up, available to them. Unabashed and unafraid because they understood my love and the difference between their “mommy” and its homonym, the word “mummy”.
Now, the house is quiet. And as I look around the attic, I’m noticing how much of my life has become obsolete, like the outdated technology that’s stacked high. And not in any particular order, not like our chronological lives.
I’m reminded of the passage of time, I see it in my typewriter to my computer to my laptop to tablet…
Well, at least I’m writing again. There’s no need to worry that I’ll be interrupted by the sound of little feet scurrying across the floor, or round hands cupped over my eyes. There’ll be no crying, no “boo-boos” and no childish quarrels or metaphorical fences for me to mend.
It’s time to plant new seeds and to insert dangling modifiers; to write down adjectives that will never completely describe the taste of water, or how technology faded away and re-invented itself. Me too.