Confiscation of Time

Outside, what a good idea. Going outside to sit and play, let the day pass by, watch the sun set behind the trees, slowly fall below the hill. Sit under the trees, take advantage of the last days of summer. Watch the kids play, examine the fig tree. I turn on the water for Jack and Fiona to play with, Jack soaks himself, Fiona makes “tomato stew” with the red and orange Lantana flowers. Everything quiet but my children’s voices, the water, every few minutes my monotone loudly spoken speech, giving a re-direction or a “we don’t do that”. Then I fade back into the moment of relaxation and the children fade back into play. The hum of the freeway and cars driving through our cul-de-sac remind me that todays coming to an end and tomorrows to-do’s will come fast. I hang on tight to this moment as buzzing humming birds pass close to me. I forget about making dinner and doing laundry and all the decisions that need to be made.

Wind starts to pick up, shadows darken on my notebook. I could trace a silhouette of the apple tree leaves on my paper. Jack reminds me of a confiscated item, a butterfly on a stick meant as a yard decoration. Jack and Fiona were just one year old when we got those, one was a grass hopper, I don’t know where that one is. But the butterfly is on the ground outside the garden, that we turned into a sand box. We bought the decorations at orchard and put them in the yard together, Jacks was the grass hopper, Fiona’s the butterfly. The kids loved them, but soon they became an item that terrified me. No matter where I put those decorations in the yard Jack and Fiona would find them and take them out of the ground and carry them around. All I could think of was them poking their eyes out. I finally threw the butterfly on the side of the garden where it can’t be reached. It’s been there for almost three years.

The fig tree has grown so large in that time. Today, we grab some fresh ripe figs off the tree, they are delicious. Jack wants to climb the tree to get some figs off the high branches, I tell him to be careful, to only climb the sturdy, large branches. He still goes too high and needs help getting down. I think of him falling and am scared of this but try to trust that he’s been climbing this fig tree since he was just able to walk, and they have grown together, Jacks legs and arms getting stronger and longer, the tree growing taller, they have a relationship, a bond.

Soon the fig tree will be full of ripe figs, if we don’t eat them fast the blue jays will eat them for us. Then the leaves will turn colors as fall approaches. I wish I could confiscate time, put it in a bottle, make it pause. Time is going by so fast, I am glad I remembered to go outside and sit and play and reminisce.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist