January 9, 2008

Time Stand Still

You have all seen The Matrix, right? I'm not going to lose anyone like I did when I started spouting off about Say Anything? Right. Do you remember the rooftop scene in which
Neo was getting shot at and he looked like he was doing just about the slowest break dancing ever but what the dude was actually doing was, like, dodging bullets? Like time had slowed down and he was able to defy the laws of physics that kept the bullets moving towards him? Or, as we later learned, speed himself up but you know with time it's all relative. Time is elastic. It's a tricky fucker.

Over the weekend, Mia fell. She was running around the corner into our bedroom, beating a swift path between my open arms. At just the wrong moment, she tripped. Her head met a bedpost with a horrifying thud and she was down. After only a few short moments, the crying turned to laughter and all was right with the world. Unfortunately, I have relived that moment - cringing - over and over as only a parent can. Which is completely unnecessary because the actual event seemed to last for an hour. Every Neo-like ass-over-teakettle second stretched into infinity and there was not a damn thing I could do about it.

Before the fall, Mia and I went shopping together. She had four dollars in her piggy bank and I'd told her earlier in the week we could go spend it. We went to the bookstore and found new Biscuit, Amelia Bedelia and Backyardigans books. We visited the dogs and cats at the local pet store. And then we headed to Target where Mia found new shoes and informed me that she wanted to spend her four dollars on a toy for the baby. I think my heart actually exploded a little.

So tell me, why couldn't that heart exploding moment been the one that lasted forever? Why couldn't the seconds during which it took Mia to tell me yesterday that I was "a man, a strange man" become infinite? Why can't I still be giving her last night's goodnight hug?

Like I said, time's a tricky fucker.

What specific moments in your life do you wish had lasted forever? And what are the most impossibly-long moments you wish time would compress?

(P.S. Voting for yesterday's contest is still open since I've been way too slammed with work to tally the votes. I'll let you guys know tomorrow.)

Posted by Chris at January 9, 2008 6:44 AM
Comments

The one moment that I wish could last forever, was the moment that they brought my daughter to me after my recovery from my c-section. They put her in my arms, and I unswaddled her so I could see all of her. She was so pink and tiny and wee, and perfect.
It was the most amazing moment EVER.

The most impossibly long moment, was the moment that I stood in the hospital, at my Daddy's bedside, and he took my hand, looked me directly in the eyes and said "Baby, you know.... there is a pretty good chance that I won't make it outta here this time..."

That is the one that gets replayed in my head, day after day. And I really wish it wouldn't. Because it breaks me all over again.

:o\

Posted by: Jen at January 9, 2008 7:25 AM

It's a good thing kids are so resilient! :-) And the thing with spending her money? *melt*

Posted by: Heather at January 9, 2008 7:26 AM

I'll go with the bad first and head to the good:

My son was almost 2 and in the hospital dealing with another severe asthma attack. I was sitting next to his bed where he was encompassed in an oxygen tent when all the beeps started beeping. Doctors and nurses rushed in as his little life was being sucked away from him. We actually lost him as I watched them begin steps to revive him from a corner of the room where I had been pushed out of the way. It had to have been mere seconds but felt like hours as I watched my baby delaing with a life and death situation, that he seemed (momentarily) to be losing. Whne I heard the steady, normal beats of those machines and saw the stream of nurses and doctors starting to leave the room, well, you can only guess that that was the BEST moment of my life...taking my son's little hand in mine, feeling his warmth, knowing he was alive, even if he was so deathly ill, knowing that the love I felt for him was quadrupled in those seconds in time. So, one experience gave me moments I never want to live through again, while at the same time the deepest love I have ever felt. And I try not to relive the scene too often, as it still scares me to this day, but when I do think about it, I give my now almost 13 year old a big hug and feel the strength of my love for him all over again.

Posted by: Tera at January 9, 2008 7:37 AM

I'll go with the bad first and head to the good:

My son was almost 2 and in the hospital dealing with another severe asthma attack. I was sitting next to his bed where he was encompassed in an oxygen tent when all the beeps started beeping. Doctors and nurses rushed in as his little life was being sucked away from him. We actually lost him as I watched them begin steps to revive him from a corner of the room where I had been pushed out of the way. It had to have been mere seconds but felt like hours as I watched my baby delaing with a life and death situation, that he seemed (momentarily) to be losing. Whne I heard the steady, normal beats of those machines and saw the stream of nurses and doctors starting to leave the room, well, you can only guess that that was the BEST moment of my life...taking my son's little hand in mine, feeling his warmth, knowing he was alive, even if he was so deathly ill, knowing that the love I felt for him was quadrupled in those seconds in time. So, one experience gave me moments I never want to live through again, while at the same time the deepest love I have ever felt. And I try not to relive the scene too often, as it still scares me to this day, but when I do think about it, I give my now almost 13 year old a big hug and feel the strength of my love for him all over again.

Posted by: Tera at January 9, 2008 7:37 AM

I wish the ones tha could last forever were the fun things i did with my big brother as a kid.

The ones that did actually last forever were when he was sat in the hospital telling me he wanted to die because he just couldnt carry on like this.

It's a shame we cant train ourselves to reverse this, it seems sadness and horror make more of a lasting impact than happiness.

Pol x

Posted by: Pol at January 9, 2008 7:45 AM

Interminable:
During my daughter's (cesarean) birth, while trying to watch the nurses weigh, measure, apgar, etc, I accidentally turned the wrong way and saw my wife on the operating table. Open. I recoiled back and they put me on a stool. For what seemed like (and still seems like) hours, I insisted I was OK, but they wouldn't let me hold my daughter. And they didn't hold her either. She just sat on the table, crying, until they relented and let me hold her. (I won't even get into the story of listening to them closing my wife up.)

Fleeting:
The solid belly laugh that is only achieved by a million kisses under a toddler's chin with whiskers on Daddy.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at January 9, 2008 8:00 AM

The moments I wish would fly? Tantrums. Hate 'em. They seem to be those endless moments that never seem to be done fast enough.

The moments I love? With my kids, I have a tradition of "Daily High-Low" - what is your favorite part of your day? What part didn't you like? I've been doing this with my 5 year old for awhile now, and it's always awesome to hear what parts of her day stand out. I just started doing this with my youngest. She's, as I've mentioned before, just a few days younger than Mia. She always has tons of stuff that are her "favorite part of the day" - "I had a cookie. I went to grandpa and grandma's house. I played in the playroom." Somedays she lists things that happened on another day - she reallydoesn't *get* that part yet. But it's awesome. The best parts is that sometimes she'll ask ME, "What was your favorite part of your day, mommy?" I love that.

Posted by: sarah at January 9, 2008 8:13 AM

Forever: Every moment I was with the girl I loved.
Compressed: Have you ever been in the jaws of chronic depression and had hours, days, weeks, months sort of crawl by while mocking your inability to deal with life? That was 2004. Let's compress that.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at January 9, 2008 8:31 AM

Btw, GREAT title post. I have that song stuck in my head now.

While this isn't as dramatic as Mia's fall, I have one of those frozen-moments in my head. Once when I was home visiting the fam, I went to see a good friend of mine whose son was trying to master being on all fours. We were sitting on the tile floor and R was trying to get his little foot past his diaper - he could get on threes but not fours - and he lost his balance and smashed his forehead into the tiles. There was that momentary pause and then a torrent of tears, which was quickly followed by laughter. For a non-parent such as myself, it was terrifying lol

As far as compressing impossibly long moments, there's a specific morning in July 1997 that I could deal with lasting negative time. There are a lot of things I wish could last longer -- DMB shows, Matt Nathanson shows, visits to my family, trips to the ocean. But at the same time, knowing that I can't possibly wholly absorb those moments gives me comfort that I will *always* find them special and more meaningful. If that makes sense.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at January 9, 2008 8:38 AM

Oh god, I have so many with Bridget that I wish I could erase from my mind completely. She falls all the time on our hardwood floors and there isn't much I can do about it. But most specifically her first fall, off our relatively high king sized bed.She was about four months and getting very rolly. I was used to being able to lay her our bed while I fixed my hair and makeup. This one time I thought, "You know, she's getting very rolly, probably not a good idea to leave her up there on her own anymore...." then THUMP.... WAH! It was awful and heartbreaking. And of course she was fine. But still.

There is also the time before we had kids when my niece who was two at the time fell down our stairs and knocked her head on our hardwood floors. Me, my SIL and my husband were all at the bottom of the stairs and saw her fall but we were moving through molasses or something and just couldn't get to her in time. This is why I vow to never own another 2 story house - I can't keep kids off my stairs!

But I love the moments when Bridget is playing so intently and then she catches sight of me, runs over and lays her head in my lap for just a minute before resuming whatever game she was playing. Like she's saying, "Just checking in with you Mom. Loveyoubye!"

Posted by: donna at January 9, 2008 9:22 AM

Oh we tried to make them last forever then: the hours my now husband and I spent laying around in bed when we first got together. We put on some of the softer Aphex Twins songs and just lounged around, talking, etc. With a kid and jobs and all, we never ever do things like that anymore.

Posted by: claire at January 9, 2008 9:42 AM

Mia is so ready to be a big sister. Sweet!

Wish had lasted forever? Sadly, I had to search for this one. My last weekend with my grandmother befor she died. I was suppose to go to the beach with my friends, but stayed home with her instead. I don't regret it. My second would be any day with my camera.

Most impossibly-long moments? The day my grandmother died and her funeral. This past weekend since I worked 22 hours. The day I was commuting to work and got sick.

Posted by: Maria at January 9, 2008 9:44 AM

The moments where toddlers scream "Daddy!" and run at me with open arms, hair bouncing on their heads... those are the moments that should last forever.

The moment in time I can not make go fast enough was the Matrix moment when I saw my Grandma walking unknowingly towards a blind step, only to see her 90 year old body go down in a heap and see pain on her face. It makes me nauseous every time. That was probably 15 years ago.

Posted by: Brad at January 9, 2008 9:49 AM

only one event really sticks out for being deathly afraid for someone. the lady and i were riding with a local cycling group one evening and we were heading out of town through industrial south seattle. the roads down there are really cracked up and crappy so you have to be mindful of where your wheels are as a lot of them could just swallow up your 23-25c tires. i came across one such crack and got over/around it without much trouble and i realized that my girlfriend behind me may not know how to handle those properly. sure enough within seconds of that though i hear the whipping of metal on pavement. the ten seconds it took me to yell to the group about a crash and turn off the side of the road were interminable. luckily (or unluckily) when i turned around the gf was dismounting her bike to go help the girl that fell over. though she said she was right next to her when she fell and if she'd fallen just the right way she would have crashed into my gf and possibly knocked her into the other lane, which had traffic. so we were lucky that all that happened was a cracked helmet (they work!) and a couple scrapes and bruises.

i tend not to dwell on things as a general rule so it's hard to pick out particular moments where time was an issue :)

Posted by: Jared at January 9, 2008 9:50 AM

The one that haunts me...moments before going under for a d&c, screaming and clawing at the doctors to let me go, get the hell off me, shaking, crying, in full-panic attack mode. I just didn't want them to take my baby, even though he was already gone. Then, waking up after that d&c and feeling more empty than I have ever felt before.

The one that takes that pain away...hearing the sound of my son entering the world. The sound that has become my flesh, my blood, my bone. Holding the hand of his biological mother, wiping her sweaty brow. Me, all tears, snots, the works. I'll never forget how she turned to me, weak with just having given birth, looked me in the eyes and said, Mama. Go and get your son. My. Son. *Sigh*


Posted by: kelly at January 9, 2008 10:10 AM

I remember when My Kid was that age & seemed to run into things all the time. I asked his pediatrician when I should be worried about him hitting his head and he said, "When he knocks himself out."

Seriously, if there's a knot there's basically nothing to worry about. It's when there's no knot (thus, the swelling is inward) that you have to worry. Knowing that put my mind at ease many a times.

Not that that was your question.

Anyhoo, thanks for the Google Reader rec. I'm all set up and it seems to be working swimmingly.

xoxo
k.

Posted by: kalisah at January 9, 2008 10:10 AM

I am really glad to hear she's ok. That could have been so much worse.

I wish the time when my cat was hanging out with the circle of women having book club in the grass would last forever, instead of the time when I held her as she was put to sleep.

I'm sure I have others, but this one's on my mind now.

Posted by: Poppy at January 9, 2008 10:30 AM

My daughter is 17 now, and I *still* relive the moment her chin hit the sidewalk when she was 5.*shudder*

Kids...they manage to rip a big fucking hole in the time/space continuum, eh?

Posted by: Julia at January 9, 2008 10:37 AM

You already know the worst, but he best.
One day we were out for dinner with the two girls. They were probably 5 and 7 years old. As we left the restaurant they gave each girl a balloon. Cool. But as we got outside, Mandy's balloon got free and lifted upward to balloon heaven. She started to cry and her 5 year old sister went over and gave her her balloon! Yeah I still get all weepy with that one!

Posted by: Maribeth at January 9, 2008 10:38 AM

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein

Posted by: Amanda at January 9, 2008 10:43 AM

Thank goodness kids are made out of rubber. Otherwise I fear the human race wouldn't make it past age three.

Posted by: GreenCanary at January 9, 2008 11:08 AM

I wish this moment would last forever:

http://pics.livejournal.com/arifoxhawk/pic/0000gcaa

I have no clue what was under the wrapping, but it must have been the most awesomest thing ever.

I don't have just one awful moment that I wish I could compress. I guess I'm fortunate in that none of them stand out too terribly. And I don't have kids. That probably helps.

Posted by: rai at January 9, 2008 11:10 AM

Moment I wish would last forever - that's tough but anytime fishing with my grandfather...

Moment thatI wish I could compress - the 5 minutes between when (from the ski lodge cafeteria) I saw my husband's ski boots sticking out from under a blanket on the ski patrol's sled and when I was actually able to get to him and find out it was JUST a torn ACL... Didn't actually know I could run in ski boots ;)

Posted by: Sue at January 9, 2008 11:20 AM

My wedding. It felt like 15 days of hell on earth. I wish they had a compress button for that one.

Posted by: Mr Lady at January 9, 2008 11:46 AM

Roughly a month ago (though it still feels like yesterday), Cole fell down a very long, very hard flight of stairs face first. I think it took about 5 days for him to get to the bottom, though it then felt like only a split second before I got to him. He was absolutely fine. He cheered right up with the mention of a treat, but I still shake inside when I think of it.

It was a small thing, but this morning all he wanted to do was to sit on my lap and snuggle. For a kid who keeps moving constantly all day, this is now a rare pleasure. It was one of the hardest things I'm sure I'll do all day to tell him that he had to get up so that we could leave. I wish we were there still.

Posted by: heels at January 9, 2008 11:47 AM

There are quite a few I would really like to have last longer. The moment that I held my kids for the first time, it was truly something that will stick with me forever.
As for moments to compress, well how about every time my youngest has said to me "watch this daddy" on her scooter, and ultimately doing a faceplant on the sidewalk. She does now understand that I can no longer hear her say those words and not cringe.

Posted by: Jeff A at January 9, 2008 1:33 PM

Hmmm...a moment I'd wish I could freeze in time? My vows during my wedding. It went by so fast, but I was so completely happy during those moments.

The most impossibly long moment was when my daughter was born, and we didn't hear her cry. The entire room when silent as they brought her up to a table, surrounded by doctors and staff. They had to suction meconium out of her throat and windpipe. It was probably only a couple of minutes until she cried, but it seemed like hours. Pure hell.

Posted by: Dawn at January 9, 2008 1:47 PM

Forever moment I would want to be the time spent with my kids...

The too fast time I would want to be the time spent with my X-husband.

Seriously, the forever moment I want is the time when we're all being goofy and all the kids are piled in the bed and we're all talking at once and laughing and just being silly.

The moment that I wish would have passed fastest would be when any one of the kids comes to me in tears... because of physical or emotional pain. I wish it would fly by so that the pain would be gone and we could be silly all piled on the bed telling bad knock-knock jokes and having giggle fits.

Posted by: Karen at January 9, 2008 2:21 PM

I would forever live in the moment that my husband and I kissed for the first time - heck, it did nearly last forever.

I would compress to nothing the downward spiral to a c-section that happened from my arrival at the hospital to when the doctor coerced me (painfully) into unecessary surgery.

Posted by: K at January 9, 2008 3:27 PM

for compression? the sensation of flying quickly and at an odd angle through the air, to be met at the end with hard black pavement mashing most unforgivably into my face and the knowing feeling that some part of me was more than a little damaged.

for expansion? that feeling that resultes from being outside for hours and hours on a day so windy that i've been nearly knocked off my feet, my nose running from the cold and the sky a horrible and yet delightful colour of grey.

Posted by: meg at January 9, 2008 6:56 PM

the moment i wish would be on forever replay? oh gosh this question makes my eyes swell up with tears...any moment with my children...they are all equally precious...good and bad.

the one moment that time seemed to stop? the circumstances around my 4 year old nephew's death. i remember every word spoken, the clothes i was wearing when they came to my front door, i remember the nun talking to us...i wish i could forget it all....

i'm glad miss mia is okay. that made me cringe...

Posted by: kimmyk at January 9, 2008 9:55 PM

Even though we're divorced, I wish that our wedding had lasted forever. It was the most surreal, happiest experience of my life, even now.

Posted by: Emily at January 9, 2008 10:28 PM

Hmm. I don't know. Thus far, my moments have been pretty even, I guess. Except for when I've been in personal danger (attacked by a dog, attempted armed robbery, car accidents). Other than that, I don't know. So I guess I shouldn't have bothered with the comment. :)

Glad Mia is okay.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 9, 2008 10:53 PM

I wish, a thousand times a day, that I could hold on to the last cuddle I had with my son. Thursday at 8:31pm. I wish I could smell his sweet hair forever and feel the warmth of his breath on my neck.

Alternately, I wish every damn day I never had to tell his siblings he was gone.

If only life was like a dvd player...pause, fast forward, rewind.

Posted by: Redneck Mommy at January 10, 2008 1:33 PM

The moment I wish I could forget, or which wouldn't feel like it was infinitely long - when I dropped my son when he was under a month old. Yep, I dropped my newborn. I'm an evil, horrible mom.

In truth, I was exhausted beyond belief and was holding him during a late-night nursing session. I must have fell asleep during the process (he was in my arms on the bed), and I woke up to him slipping out of my arms and off of the bed, as I screamed, knowing I couldn't grab him - he was already down.

He is fine. Thank goodness for the additional padding under the carpet and for the resiliency of babies.

I will never, ever forget that moment, and it replays, in slow motion, in my head a lot!

The moments I wish would last - when I'm holding him as he is falling asleep, and that little head is on my shoulder. Or that first hug I get after I come home from a long period away from him.

Or, on the romantic side, I have one snuggly moment I totally recall from the days when the hubby and I were still newly dating.

Posted by: RC at January 10, 2008 2:27 PM

Meant to say "fallen asleep." Ugh. Send the grammar police.

Posted by: RC at January 10, 2008 2:29 PM

To expand? When the kids laugh, I mean REALLY laugh -- I wish I could forever hold that sound in my head.

To compress? When my brother was in the hospital following his dianosis of colon cancer and he said to me "It just doesn't seem fair. I just found the perfect woman and we just bought a house. Ang, I don't want to die."
He died at 29 just 9 months later. I'll never fucking forget that sentence.

Posted by: angela marie at January 10, 2008 8:20 PM

My youngest daughter met a similar fate albeit she was jumping on a ottoman and ended up introducing forehead to side table. She ended up with a gash over her eye that was out of a Steven King novel. I resisted the urge to pick up my camera before applying medical treatment, a decision my wife later thanked me for. I know what it is like to relive that horrible second.

On the other side of that, our nightly "Squiges" never seem to last long enough.

Posted by: G-man at January 10, 2008 9:29 PM

Mine are 6 and 12 so I have a lot of them -- I try to write them all down so I don't forget. But I see you do that as well. ;)

One of my favorites? My littlest likes to snuggle and read and relive the day through storytelling before he goes to sleep. One of my favorite memories is from one of those snuggle sessions -- he held my face in his tiny little hands, put his nose up to mine, and whispered:

Will you snuggle with me forever?

The one moment I'd like to erase but will never get out of my head? When I was struggling with depression after the birth of my littlest and wound up separating from (and eventually divorcing) my husband. My oldest was about five and one night at my apartment asked me when I would be "coming home". I told him it wasn't that easy, and struggled for words to explain why, and he broke into tears, covered his face and told me to just come home.

It took me almost five years to get out of that depression. I wish I had the strength I do now, because I would have listened to him.

Posted by: krystyn at January 11, 2008 11:10 AM

Worst: 1995. I had a nervous breakdown that almost made me lose everything in my life - including my life.

Best: Every time my kids are together sitting around my table laughing. I just want to hold that picture in my brain forever. I love them so much and to see them happy and enjoying each other's company and mine... is a precious moment I want to freeze in time.

Posted by: sue at January 11, 2008 12:14 PM

Wow, so glad to hear that Mia is okay. I have several similar memories with my two kids, each time they seemed to be much stronger than I realized.

Some of the moments I would like to last forever? The time spent with my kids and my husband, their step dad. After a bitter divorce with their dad, I remarried a handsome young knight who left us after only four years later by suicide. The fact these two young adults will let their (second, geez) step-dad into their heart speaks so incredibly to my heart. I'm proud of them both, and wish I could hold on to all those moments of laughter, sharing with them the strength of love I wish they had known all their lives.

Moments I would like to compress? The above mentioned divorce, from the man I gave my heart to when I was a naive 18 years old - Told him I didn't think it was fair to be married since I didn't feel I loved him enough, and asked for nothing in return.. No money, left the house, cars, and after 13 years of marriage, the only thing I wanted was to be able to raise our kids to understand unconditional love... Never will understand why he did some of the things he did, only to hurt the kids.... I'd enjoy compressing that experience... Not to mention the deaths I've known...

I try my best to remember to be thankful for each blessed second, knowing they are far too fleeting.. Wish I could remember that when I'm really stressed!

Here's to no more bedpost encounters. ;-)

Posted by: dianne at January 11, 2008 11:16 PM

All I can say is may you never, ever have to ride in an ambulance with your kid, pretending to be all cheerful and brave.

Posted by: Karen at January 14, 2008 10:19 PM


DEC08_RECENT.jpg


DEC08_ARCHIVE.jpg