The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, May 10, 2008



I feel like I'm moving away from my kids. I used to think about them all their time. Every experience, I saw through their eyes. Now, I'm so absorbed teaching rambunctious high school students biology, I forget about my two children, until I pick them up at 4:00

I think about how after I gave birth to my son, and how afterwards, time just seemed to stop. My hospital room was filled with the golden light of sunset, and I just stared at his face. I stared at my children for almost ten years. I did other things, but they were my focus. When my daughter awoke sobbing in the middle of the night, I could often recognize the events she described. "Oh, that mean red truck was only the fire truck we saw on our walk today,” I would tell her. … Now, I am as baffled by her dream images as she is.

I liked the young child phase of my life. Only now do I realize that it was a limited interlude, like college. I remember after I graduated from Berkeley, I continued to live in town. I would stop by the coffee shops I used to study for exams in, and as soon as I could, I applied to graduate school. Gradually, though, I realized I didn't want to study genetics anymore. I wanted the freedom, intellectual challenge, and intense friendships I experienced during college to continue.

Now, I feel yearnings to have a third baby. It would be so wonderful to have an infant grasp my finger again, or stare with complete devotion as I nurse him. I'd love to see another child wear my daughter's flower embroidered dresses, or sing the Thomas the Train song.

But then I think I don't want a third child in our family. Our sibling dynamic is tough enough. I'm 44, and my body, finances, and patience are wearing thin. What I really want is to go back in time.

One advantage of my new job is I'm around interesting, educated, ADULT colleagues again. One afternoon, Eric the physics teacher, explained time travel. It turns out the only way we can even theoretically travel in time is forward. If we travel near the speed of light, time will go slower for us. Remember the first “Planet of the Apes” movie? Taylor and his astronaut friends traveled for a few months at the speed of light. They came back to Earth two thousand years in the future. (Of course Taylor didn't know he had returned to Earth until he saw the Statue of Liberty, but that's another story.)

I pointed out to my physicist friend that in the third Planet of the Apes, the two chimpanzee characters go back to the 1970s. Eric rolled his eyes. "We can slow time, but we can't make it go in reverse.

There is no going back, in theoretical physics or life.

By Beth Touchette-Laughlin


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Beautiful post! I LOVED the line "I stared at my children for 10 years". What wonderful reflections-well put!
Such a smart, well-written post. Thanks.
What a wonderful piece! I always hear "this time goes too fast" from parents with older kids, but this really made me look at it differently. Thanks...

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