"Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. If you can bend space you can bend time also, and if you knew enough and could move faster than light you could travel backward in time and exist in two places at once."
~from Cat's Eye, by Margaret Atwood
If I could have one super power, one Heroes-esque quality, one tiny spec of God's knowledge, it would be that ability: to know enough and to move faster than light, to bend time and exist in two places at once. Sometimes, though, despite the lack of knowledge and speed, time bends. It almost folds back on itself, you can nearly look through the dimension and see yourself, at the same place but a different time, a beloved time, a time you want to return to.
Nearly five years ago, I sat here, at this table.
My three oldest were running around Disneyland with their cousins, and Kaleb was hungry. So I sat here, in this nearly-deserted little spot, to nurse him. The flowers were different—mums, I think—and the season: October. But it was still chilly, a little. It was the same iron scroll chairs, the same cheerful decor and faux Swiss architecture, the same vague tinkling from It's a Small World. Back at that moment, I tossed the blanket over my shoulder (the expertise nursing-in-public movement that comes with four babies) and snuggled up with the warm baby, sipped a hot chocolate and thought about how perfect a moment it was. I savored, hard as I could, the minutes of sitting there, just outside the Pinocchio ride. I never expected to take my four-month-old baby to Disneyland, but we did, and it made the experience even sweeter. (Plus: all those stroller passes!) I nearly asked Kendell to take a picture, but as I hate asking that, I didn't.
I wish I had.
So on Thursday, when I found myself at Disneyland again, I took a picture. Then I sat in the exact same spot and I thought about how much life has changed since that sweet moment, and how it hasn't. I thought about time passing, my children growing up, how I expected that their ages would change but I never imagined how our relationships would, too. I wished with everything I had that I could bend time and sit in a chair behind that younger version of myself; I wish I could step back into her heart and feel the exact way I did at that exact moment, instead of just remembering it. I thought about a future day, too, when maybe I would come to Disneyland again, and visit that same spot. What might that older version tell me to appreciate about this moment, right now?
Time bends. Not really, but I could almost, almost make out my alternate versions. My eyes might have filled up. Then Kaleb ran to me and bumped my leg with his shoulder and told me about the Dumbo ride, which was good but could we please go back to Space Mountain now? And time, like it does, kept moving forward. I took his hand and we strode off together toward Tomorrowland.