I wrote this in what felt like a heartbeat. In the year that I turn 40 and am experiencing life with two kids under two, the subject of time is a bit of an obsession these days. Speed it up, slow it down, freeze it, make sense of it, create more of it. This little piece is different from my normal writing, a bit more raw – probably more so than I’m accustomed to sharing here. Hope it resonates.
A Wish About Time, For My Children
For you, I want time to move slowly.
But pain to feel quick.
I want heartbreak to be imperceptibly fast.
But love to feel eternal.
I want childhood to last forever.
But only the good parts.
The teasing, pimples, uncertainty and left-outness should be forgettable.
While the joy, imagination, newness and possibility should be permanent.
For you, I want time to feel elastic.
Full of opportunity
Never halted by shock or grieving or despair.
I want time to be on your side, not its own.
I want the world for you.
And I know I can’t control the universe, but all of a sudden, I’d like to try.
For you, my babies. My laughing, wide-eyed curious creatures. I want time to be everything that helps you and makes you happy. To be more than a clock on a kitchen wall. Or a ticking stopwatch. I want time to be forever for you.
But only the good parts.
My time continues, as does my parents’. But now really begins your time. Harness it, fill it, relish in it and appreciate it. “‘Preciate.” It is all yours, make it wonderful.
* * * * *
On the subject of time, I find myself trying to stretch it, fill it, in small ways I didn’t used to. In that vein, I’ve been making these muffins for one of my kids, the only one who currently has teeth, my daughter, on a regular basis lately. She loves them. Asks for “cu-cakes” at night, in the morning, in mid-day. i explain these are healthier, slightly. They are chock full of apples. Bake a batch and time travel to your own childhood, when perhaps your mother, like mine, always had muffins on hand.
Apple Walnut Muffins (adapted, slightly, from the Joy of Cooking)
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a standard 12-muffin pan with paper cups.
Whisk together thoroughly:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
Whisk together in a large bowl:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
Stir in and let stand for 10 minutes:
1 1/2 – 2 cups packed coarsely grated or finely chopped, peeled apples (about 3 medium), with juice
5 tablespoons warm melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
Add the flour mixture and fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix; the batter should not be smooth. Divide batter among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in 1 or 2 muffins comes out clean – or until the muffins no longer look gooey, and when they return to shape when depressed – about 15-17 minutes. Let cool for 2 or 3 minutes before removing from pan. Serve as soon as possible, preferably the day they are baked – or freeze excess for later enjoyment.