My Tug 'O War with Time

Have you ever done something wrong and in the same second you realized your mistake you tried to will time backwards to undo it all?

For me, this issue usually arises in relation to my mouth. My brain and mouth are often so in sync that the thoughts I have somehow race from my mind and out the hatch. If my fingers are in cahoots with the mind/mouth pair, the blunders present themselves in the form of emails and electronic posts like status updates or eek, even my precious blog.

Yes, you can technically rescind an email, but we all know that it happens so fast that it only takes one person to open the message for the words to be in permanent cyber-space. When I send an inappropriate email or do something stupid otherwise, I have the same reaction, I start to sweat, first. My heart races and I feel the water pouring off of my forehead. Second, I try, as fast as I can, to grab time and pull it backwards, to pull myself and life itself back a mouse click, a minute, an hour, a day, or however long I need in order to get myself out of the mess I've made.
Then finally, I realize I can not take back time or undo what I have done. Then I cry, hide and say I'm sorry.

Yesterday's blunder, amazingly, had nothing to do with my mouth or a computer keyboard. Caroline and I joined Andy in New York City and after a hot, sweaty day touring mid-town Manhattan, she and I joined back with Andy on Amtrack to heat back to Albany. I proudly showed Andy the 50 photos I shot of Caroline in the City: sitting on a turtle statue at the Central Park Zoo, grumpily trying to get out of her stroller in Times Square and in front of the line amassing at the Late Show theater entrance. I then placed the camera back in my purse and we all nodded off until we arrived at the station.

As is usual, we juggled the millions of bags, Caroline and assorted items we'd traveled with. We threw it all in the car and tiredly started the 1.5 hour drive home. About 40 minutes into the ride, I grumbled about my aching bones and Andy laughed, saying my photos didn't show all the action we'd encountered. Reminded of the great photos I'd captured of my sweet baby, I casually reached into my purse to fish around for the camera. And it wasn't there. I asked Andy if he had the camera. He already knew what I'd done. "It's long gone." he said, panicked.

Sweat. More sweat. As I shuffled around in our bags and threw everything onto the floor of the car, my mind raced. If I had just looked on the floor when I picked up my purse. If I had just noticed it was missing when I changed Caroline's diaper in the train station, I could have gone back to the car we were in and grabbed it. How could I have carried that damn camera all around the city and then lost it on the stupid train?! My mind reached desperately for rope of time, hoping if I caught it, I'd be able to tug it back 45 minutes, reach down on the floor of the train, grab the camera and be on our way. Like the mistake had never happened.

But it did. We all make mistakes. We make them quickly, a split-second decision with long-term repercussions. I cried. I said I was sorry. It made Caroline cry and that made me cry more. I can't get that camera back. But, I'm sure today that some Amtrack employee is greatly enjoying it. I'm just glad I'd downloaded and erased Caroline's latest potty training pics before the big city trip.


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