Time Unwatched

Published March 2018

I once read that time unwatched is its own treasure.

It’s a double edged sword, that time unwatched thing. I cycle through both sides of it every day.

Although the “unwatched” detail is a bit unintentional in my situation, due in part to being frazzled with three kids four and under, I’ve very much treasured this time home with my kids as the new-baby dust settles.

So much so that I have yet to hop back into my job full throttle, even though I love my work. I’ve also enjoyed time away from my computer and phone.

We’ve been home, making forts, playing “police getaway cars,” and changing new baby sister’s bows every few hours.

Time has just drifted, gently and without aim. As a person who is always scheduled, this is the first time I’ve let it, because it seems almost merciful.

Our mornings are lazy. Some of us enjoy a little nap from a long night, while others enjoy the new freedom this brings. The four (!) of us stay in jammies until the tractors we play with have a new construction job near a dresser, and we pause to choose a shirt, and whatever mismatched pants are clean/especially favored.

What a luxury to enjoy these long, bright mornings that then greet the afternoon as we picnic in our backyard.

(It’s a very small backyard, and the cuisine is Cars mac and cheese, but still.)

Several times a day, I am in Shayne’s room, swaddling her, feeding her, changing her, and lying her down for naps…and there’s always this clock.

I feel like this new ticking clock in Shayne’s room is kinder with its time, more generous than past clocks. This clock seems more friendly and warmer than Time usually does (the bunny ears will do that). When I rock with my baby in her glittering room, that clock is smiling at me, telling me to go ahead. Enjoy the minutes. Don’t rush. Don’t make a list. Don’t worry about your phone. Be MIA. I can hear the seconds tick along with my most loved, squeaky new baby noises while we snuggle in her rocking chair.

And I am so deeply grateful for this blissful time unwatched.

So, we go slowly.

Sometimes, there is nothing I love more; sometimes, the pace drives me crazy.

Is that the new mom hormones?

I like to stay busy. I enjoy productivity. I don’t hold still. In fact, I haven’t even been to a movie in YEARS. My good friends know this “staying home and relaxing” thing has been a difficult art for me to master. I love (LOVE) slow days with my babies, but it DOES come at the expense of a constantly messy house, and my mental state by 3PM is occasional collateral damage, also.

I have two shadows. Alwaaays. Those shadows have no real plans most of the week, and by late afternoon, I just crave a few feet…but shadows gon’ shadow.

My shadows are not inconspicuous. They’re working on their inside voices (I recently hosted a mildly successful “how to close the door without slamming it” seminar in their room), and with a new baby in the house, they’re a little more frustrating to have Power Ranger-ing in a room.

When they’re not shadowing, they’re either being sweet playing together, or making very impressive messes. It’s a dice I roll.

I struggle to not lose my patience every day.

I’ve gone through a lot of Magic Erasers.

I’m tired.

…but then, there’s that ticking clock. When I’m at my wits end, in a house bewildered by it’s own disarray, there’s this clock I hear. That little second hand, sneaking by. A bit more time, sneaking by.

And it takes me back to the beginning of my giddy-frustrated-guilty-giddy cycle with the same thought: time unwatched is its own treasure.

(I’ll keep you posted when the AA batteries are removed if my emotional teeter-tottering becomes too exhausting.)