The perfect gift

I thought of the perfect gift for you this year. I thought I might give you time. What could be more precious? Better yet, I had loads of it. ‘There’s no present like the time, so that is what I’ll do’, I vowed to myself. ‘I’ll do that right away, mark it in the diary for next Tuesday.’

But time’s a passing thing, and Tuesday came and went. So did March, and July and September, and 2010 and 11 too. I spent so much of it, in truth, that before I noticed, it had all flown. I didn’t have time to be concerned though. You were four now, and the things I’d written about you, just weeks earlier when you were two, were still barely dry on the page. I was sure I’d had time to spare, an endless supply, but each tick of the clock was a grain of sand, crashing to the bottom of an hourglass that nobody tells you is there.

I frittered it away, too many evenings, too many days, on the things we have to do to get to the things we want to do. Time is money, but money takes time, and between you and me it took a whole lot of mine.

I can see it now, great big heaps of it, all in the rear view mirror. Up ahead there’s fog, and I’ve no way of knowing how much time there is. More for you than for me, I suspect, and I rejoice in that, although it makes me uneasy too. Your knack of slowing things down, of making me look at things that nobody else sees, maybe next year I’ll learn how to do that.

Next year I’ll give you more time. Next year I’ll spend it on you.

Roses are blue. It's time to smell them.