“Mommy, wake up so you'll have time to play with me before you go to work.” Half-asleep, I recognized this as the first time I'd heard my daughter use time in a linear fashion. She had kept me living more or less in the present for almost four years. I felt guilty for all the times I'd rushed her as she contemplated a puddle (“Hurry or we won't get there on time!”) or talked to a “family” of raisins (“Finish your breakfast quickly or we'll be late!”)
When she was born time stopped. The pediatrician spoke of the next visit. I stared blankly. Tiny new baby in my arms, a month was an unfathomable distance.
My daughter helps me to live as a “child of illusion.” Socks on rocking horse runners or a four-year-old body jammed into a six-month-old's outfit bring me back with a smile. Giving up hope of finishing anything without interruption is oddly relaxing. The moment is more fun than the to-do list, even when the moment is finding her gluing beads to furniture.