If you had a time machine, where would you go? Or should I say “when” would you go? People are fascinated by the concept of manipulating time. It’s a common theme in pop culture, splattered throughout literature and the movies. From a Wrinkle in Time to “Back to the Future” – who hasn’t thought about the idea that time is linear?
This week’s WordPress writing challenge is about this very concept. If you had a time machine, what would you do with it? Personally the biggest temptation would be going back in time to “fix” moments of regret. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty – who doesn’t think, “If I had to do it all over again, I’d do X, Y and Z differently?” But that’s a dangerous road to take.
I think about the idea that, had I waited for one more month before trying to conceive Corey, I might not have a heart child. I might not have had to live through the hell that is the early life of a child with tricuspid atresia. He wouldn’t have been forced to suffer through it either. Maybe my first child would have been healthy. That’s a tempting thought, if I am honest. The child would not have been Corey, though – he or she would have been a different person entirely.
And of course I love Corey with all of me. I can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include him. Getting to know him, getting to know myself through him, has been a privilege. No matter how much time I have with him, I know it is a gift. And at my core, I believe that I am meant to be Corey’s mother – it’s my path to walk in life. In which case perhaps the time machine wouldn’t make any difference.
There’s also the idea that, should you alter one regrettable part of your past, you will also inevitably alter many more aspects of your present and your future. If there was no Corey, there would be no Mason either. Mason was conceived at a time that worked between Corey’s surgeries. No heart child, no surgical timeline, and suddenly there is no Mason. He (or she) is someone else entirely. Or perhaps there would be no second child at all.
Think about all the hundreds of important decisions you’ve made in your life. All of them led, in one way or another, to where you are right now. Right this moment. Alter any of them, and perhaps you are in a completely different place, married to a different person, living in a different state or country, doing a different job with a different boss. Instead of Grace the cat you’ve got Fido the dog, because your new spouse in this different reality is allergic to cats.
It’s wild to contemplate. So I think I know exactly what I’m going to do with my time machine. I’m going to borrow some TNT from my son’s Minecraft game and blow it to smithereens. Then I’m going to cook dinner for this family that I love in this house that I love in this town that I love.