The Time Thief and The Rose
How on earth did this happen? One minute I was having a home birth and there were vests and sleepsuits everywhere and then I think I must have lost concentration, because my baby has suddenly turned into a little boy wearing a school uniform.
All I can presume is that we have had a visitation from the Time Thief. He must have sneaked in at the dead of night and nicked four years.
I must pay more attention in future to stop this kind of thing happening again. I’ll be sure to lock the doors more carefully and the windows shouldn’t be left open. No way can I let the Time Thief get away with this sort of behaviour. Maybe I should ring the Neibourhood Watch or something. A big bolt on the door? Should I install CCTV so I can keep an eye out for a shadowy figure sneaking along the back street with a really massive bag bulging with memories?
Really it’s all rather hopeless isn’t it. Absolutely nothing can keep him away from my babies. In just another couple of years I’ll realise that he’s been again, and that huge chunks of time seem to have disappeared into thin air. The insurance won’t cover it either, you can’t put a price on memories and they can’t be replaced.
On the first day I took my son to school, it was raining, in fact it was tipping it down. The clouds were emptying themselves all over us as we walked up the road. I checked behind me to see if I could spot the Time Thief so I could shout at him and tell him what I thought of him, but the streets were empty apart from a few parked cars and a couple of soaked people wandering into the local shop. My now grown up baby held my hand as we dashed across the road, splashing in puddles (I told him to avoid the puddles, but you know what they’re like!).
The skies were grey, the wind hurried us, I felt like I was losing something. We arrived at school, I handed him over to the teachers waiting at the door and saw him stood there framed in the doorway – dressed head to toe in his blue waterproof outfit, hood up, soaking, looking expectantly at me like he was thinking ‘What’s next mum?’
‘I’ll pick you up when I pick your sister up, it’s not for long. You know I’m coming back for you soon, just like nursery, right?’
Sausage nodded just the once to show he understood and I smiled, turned and walked away. It was still raining and I was glad of it, that way no-one would notice me wiping tears away.
Walking down the hill, everything seemed sepia coloured. A little bit of my life had been left in that doorway and I wanted to race back and grab it, grab him…my grown up baby. The colours of the day drained away down the gutters with the rainwater and I felt the loss of those stolen four years as clearly as I felt the rain soaking through my hood.
As I put one foot in front of another, knowing I couldn’t go back, I spotted a flash of magenta at my feet. It was a rose, just lying there on the pavement. Maybe someone picked it and discarded it, but maybe…just maybe…it was the Time Thief. Perhaps he has a conscience after all, perhaps he felt sorry for me.
This is always the way it has to be. Time must be stolen, it is not ours to keep. He must do his job. Everyone has to make a living somehow, right?
The rose was so beautiful I just had to photograph it, drenched in rain and with the scent of summer still on its petals. So Mr Time Thief…I forgive you. Thank you for letting me keep the years for as long as I did, and I surrender them to you with a grateful heart. Maybe you’re not as mean as I thought you were.
Apologies for the rather clumsy writing style, it’s hard to put into words the loss that you feel when you have to say goodbye to the baby years. I shall miss them desperately, but life moves ever onwards as they say.