Being Jessica’s mother is a little exhausting, and not just for all the reasons I’ve talked about. Mostly, being Jessica’s mother is exhausting because she wants the days never to end. She wants to pack as much into every one of them as she can. And because I don’t know how many days she has, I find it very hard to say no.
“You will get me from school and then we will go home,” she says. “And then we will have a snack, and then we will have a conversation. After that we will go to yoga and then we will talk to Linda afterwards. And then we will make dinner, and then we will watch a movie. And then we will read Lord of the Rings. And then we will do crossword puzzles. And then we will play with the princess dolls and my new magnets.”
And then she falls into bed, exhausted from it all.
I was a little like that when I was a child, although I did not need my mother’s help to mediate my experience quite so much as Jessica does. But the world was big and full of possibility and there was always so much to do, most of it extremely interesting. When I was a child, I never wanted the days to end.
I think about that now. “Will this day never end?” I sometimes ask about my work, or about a chore-filled Saturday. And someday, maybe not for many years, but someday, I will come to the end of my days, and there will be no more time for playing with princess dolls and my new magnets.
And so my resolution for this year is to find a way to make each day a gift I never want to end.