The Time Traveler’s Children

20110906-055336.jpgDuring the course of the last few years, it seems like we’ve culturally had a fascination with the idea of time-crossed lovers – one moving forward in time while the other moves backwards, one experiencing the first (kiss, touch, moment where eyes meet) while the other experiences the last. If you read The Time Traveler’s Wife or saw the movie (which I missed), or if you’re keeping tabs on the current season of Doctor Who, you know what I’m talking about. It’s tragic and romantic, and generally leaves you feeling miserable.

And no, Mr. GreatWeirdness and I are not time-crossed lovers, so don’t get concerned.

However, I had a moment this morning, sitting at the table watching my young children, where I experienced this strange realization. The moment was so real and alive for each of our family members. But I don’t remember really anything from being their age. Just a few hazy emotions really. Although so much of this time with them is etched forever in my mind, it will one day be hazy or nonexistent memory to them. Foundational, of course, but not real and alive like it is for me.

It’s like we are the time traveler and his children. One day, we will have the conversation where I will vividly know what happened, and the memory won’t exist for them. And if part of my future story is to lose what I remember, then they will experience the same with me.

Strange, isn’t it? I wonder if that subtle piece of reality is part of what draws us to those time-crossed lover stories. Or maybe it’s just our fascination with tragedy.

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