The art projects are quickly making their way onto our floors, tables, sofas and directly in front of my face. It’s a sign that the clock is ticking fast and furiously. The teachers are handing me back pieces of my child — the pieces I missed when I was busy running around trying to catch up while they were off learning about the world. They are not pieces — they are signs of growth — revealing how much they have blossomed while I wasn’t looking.
I still think the art is beautiful, and I save every piece — and pull my hair out for the next 75 days or so wondering where I’m going to put them all. Just looking at them makes me feel rich and uniquely privileged. For a brief second I’m transported back to the time when I used to play dolls as a little girl, and wished they would respond in some way, beyond the Betsy Wetsy’s capabilities of soaking the cotton diaper. Now I have real dolls — that create their own art.
But dolls, these boys are not. The clock is ticking, time is running out on my 2.5 hours in the afternoon of peace and quiet and I’m not sure whether to be elated or terrified. Soon, I’ll be scrounging around for spare minutes to complete writing projects, panicked that the room will never stay quiet long enough for my brain to form sentences.
Wait a minute. I’m already doing that. Between dental appointments, repairmen, kindergarten pick-up and lunches… that’s all I’ve ever had, with or without the presence of school in our lives — scraps of seconds here and there. Everything will stay the same.