Time Tripping In A Mama Mind

May 17, 2024

by Hagar Harpak

I’m tripping on the ways of time, slipping away years, and decades devoured. Blown away by the strangeness of aging and the wildness of fast growing children. Journeying through unmet expectations and failings and falling in love with how things are – messy and heartbreaking and weird. Time tripping in a mind of a mama. Wandering, not lost.

Another school year almost at the end. My kids are growing faster than my breath can regulate a nervous system longing to connect. I breathe their changing scent. A little lost in this fast pace. I feel the sadness on my face, commingled with the wild awe in my heart. It’s a joy to be their mother, and a grief filled field I’ve lost myself in. 

She’s figuring out who she is through friendships, pushing some boundaries, revealing her depth through unexpected conversations, daydreaming a lot, changing her artistic style, and trying on new versions of herself. She’s wearing my shoes now, putting on my shirts, pulling one side down a little to reveal a shoulder, lipgloss in her jean pocket, eyes batting lashes in front of mirrors. I smile because I remember things about my own tweeny transition. I smile because she’s her own being, individuating, growing. And I cry too, because I miss my little baby. 

He’s riding his big boy’s bicycle with his friends at the park on Wednesday afternoons. They have a gang of wolves. He’s wild and he doesn’t like being tied to time. And he loves math. Humor is his love language. Still wants me to cradle him like a baby, but only at home, never in front of the howling bunch… obviously. 

It’s still Spring, but I can feel the ache of the passing time, knowing at this point in my life that Fall will be here sooner than I’m comfortable with. Fifth becomes sixth grade and first becomes second grade in the blink of a season, and with that comes a whole new set of life skills to develop and discover. This Summer I plan to cherish this moment of childhood, as I’ve done every year, and I will have to choke on a bigger tear, because I know that tweens will shift to teens, and in many ways, this Summer marks a transition.

Deep breath. I let the sadness in, but it will not be the only feeling. Beach days and books, live music and picnics, lazy lounging days too… the flavor of what’s coming is sparkly in my mouth, and their laughter, I know, will fill the warm air as their sunkissed hair blows in the Summer afternoon wind. Their joy when they speak of their longing for Summer fills me with a bunch of yes. We get to do this together, and they seem to understand that it’s a precious gift. 

All I want is to spend time with them, without the world’s schedules, without restriction of time, and without being so distracted by the messiness of adulthood. I wish that I could be more present, more grounded, less all over the place, less stressed about the juggle and the struggle. I want to slow down the pace of living, and slow down the speed of the years going by, and slow down so that I can feel less like life is a race. I want to move in ways that unlock my entanglement with the clock, and make more space for listening. 

I lean into the longing to hold on, so that I can be held as I let go of how it was, of how it is, and how I wanted it to be, and who I thought I would become, and how it’s so different. I take a breath, and as I exhale I let the tears wash down, salty on my aging face, and I look at the kids, and their youth is like a piece of Summer fruit, and I let the sweetness soften the sadness. 

Two more weeks and a little bit more and we can exhale together, put down the schedule, pick up the boogie board and make more room to roam with less aim and more like a poem, unfolding in a rhythm that honors changing bodies, changing minds, and changing seasons. 

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