My son lives his life in one tense. The present. He has no conception of the future, and anything that has passed is in the past. It is yesterday. He said to me this morning ‘remember yesterday when you jumped in the lake’? That was Christmas Day 2015. This afternoon when I picked him up from preschool he said ‘remember yesterday we went to the baddy bins (aka the council tip). That was two months ago. This evening ‘remember we climbed the tree yesterday’? Miraculously, that was yesterday, but I don’t think he recognised it as such. It was a fluke.
Sometimes I think that I should teach him about time, and the passing of it. How to gauge the slings and arrows of existence. Most times I think Fuck. That! He will learn to look to the past soon enough. To yearn for future times and the promises they hold. For now, he revels in the present, and lives every moment. What a fabulous way to be. He does not have any concept of regret, because yesterday is yesterday. Now is now, and should be enjoyed as such. Tomorrow is inconceivable. Now is marvellous.
So I will break it to him gently. Slowly. Look at the image to this entry and you will see a square, pristine Olive Oil soap, and the worn, lozenge-shaped nub of its predecessor. Many yesterdays ago we bought the nub as a complete square. Time has whittled and eroded it. I will show my son this new soap when he has his bath, and place its hard edges between his hands. I shall not intone any lessons or instruction about what it means. That is for him to discover. As he wears away the edges and letters he may have a eureka moment. Feel the seconds slipping through his hands. Though I hope he does not. Not yet. For now, at four tender years, I hope he continues to live in the moment, and drink in the now. Right now.
© Tom Tide 2016