Several days ago, I saw my watch sitting on the dresser. I couldn't remember the last time I had worn it, and I picked it up and glanced at it and found that it had stopped on November 27 just before 10 p.m.--right around the time I went into labor.
It's been nearly a month and time, as I've always known it, has shifted completely. It has bent and twisted and folded its legs up under itself to sit blankly on the couch staring at the wall; it's battled the wind and tears and a couple of gasps of exhausted laughter; it's snuck out of the house while the baby slept next to her father, just to walk, alone, around the block breathing the solitary air.
I find myself jolting up in the middle of night worried that I'm not ready for Christmas--there are presents to buy and cards to write and loved ones to call--only to realize Christmas has already passed.
There was even the moment a few nights ago when I woke up half out of a dream thinking it was time: the baby was coming: labor had started. Moments later, by the light of the nightlight, I had changed my daughter and was feeding her and realized that soon she won't even need me, that in all actuality, she already doesn't need me.
It's disorienting. Nights last a thousand years, and this month has gone by in a second, and come Thursday, it'll be 2009: the ball will drop; strangers will kiss, and here we will be, in the heart of Brooklyn, my husband, my daughter and me, wondering if the night will ever end and still hoping that tomorrow might hold off on coming.