Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

If I Only Had More Time

“If I only had more time,” I say to my keyboard. The clock whispers “You do have more time.”

I look at it, see the big hand and the little hand. They read 3:36, and have for more than a year. I haven’t replaced the batteries.

“It’s you that has no time,” I said.

“I have all the time in the world,” the clock replied.


On the big computer that sits behind the laptop I type on, a photo of ragged mountains floats in, reminding me that human time is different than mountain time. One day, that mountain won’t look as jagged. It’ll be more sloping. Gentler. As we all are in time, I suppose. Our moments erode us.

I wait for the photos to cycle through again to take a picture of the mountain. The clock on the wall laughs. “There’s your time,” it says.

you have all the time in the world because mountain time is different from human time

“If I had more money, I’d buy a house with a bigger backyard,” I say to my fence. The Gucci watch with dead batteries sitting in my bathroom drawer chimes in. “You do have more money,” it hollers down the stairs.

I think about how much I loved that watch – purchased as a birthday gift for myself years ago. I should sell it on eBay. I haven’t worn it in forever.


“If I spent more time on his spelling words with him, he wouldn’t struggle so much,” I say to myself as I watch my little boy go from saying that “stove” is just like “steve” in Minecraft to not knowing how to spell “stove” because I asked him how to spell it.

I wonder about homework and studying and how much to push and how much to recede. I promise him a reward of his choice if he just finishes. I only lose my cool once, which is once too often considering that we’ve been at these words for hours this week and what the f*ck does it matter if he knows how to spell “stove” for Friday’s test or next year or never?

Spell check will wrongly auto-correct him even when he spells something right anyway, the way that it does for me.

“Let’s just finish the words and then we can play baseball,” I say.

“Can we mine ore instead?”

“Um.” I said. “What do you mean?”

“Well, we’ll need safety gear,” he says.

I breathe. I don’t groan but he knows that the groan sits below my tongue and that breaths in are the only thing taming it, keeping it down. He always knows.

I see him slump while knowing. He thinks, hopes, and asks “We don’t have safety gear?”

“Not really,” I said. I watched him further deflate and thought about wanting more time and about how I already miss littler-boy him. “But we have sunglasses, and maybe they can be our safety gear. So tell me what you’re thinking,” I replied.

“We can mine our ore,” he says. “See what’s inside.”

We finish his spelling words and take our sunglasses outside along with a hammer and his found “ore.” He crouches down on the sidewalk, puts on his sunglasses which are safety gear enough, places his ore down and smashes it with a hammer. Nothing happens, and I’m glad, thinking about driving to the emergency room, his cheek bleeding because a chunk of garden rock flew into his face. Them asking “So let me get this straight. You let him smash a rock with a hammer on your sidewalk?”

I wonder about my reply and then wonder whether he’s young enough that he won’t scar before remembering the scar on his chin that he got when he was three. That night, I wanted more time, too, and we stayed at the beach until dark. Washing the sand from our bodies in the outdoor showers on a wooden deck past his bedtime… Him, overly excited, wet, slippery, jumping to catch the drops of water under the blooming stars. And then, blood everywhere, and the decision to make a trip to CVS because it was 9pm and we were at the beach with no clue how close or how far Urgent Care was. 

The scar is just under his chin. He has to look up for me to see it although I often remember it even when his face is not next to mine.

“At least we’re wearing sunglasses,” I think. I wonder whether smashing a garden rock that he thinks is ore will be disappointing and wish he’d chosen to play baseball at the park instead. I look at my phone, and realize it’s after 6pm. Guess we’ll have eggs for dinner.

Ready to tell him that we’re out of time while preparing myself for his disappointment, he brings the hammer down, again, and again. The rock breaks.


“Look! I did it, and there are crystals inside!”

I take a moment, squat down, and realize he’s right. There really are crystals inside.

Mom thinks that she just wants more time and ends up letting her son smash a rock with a hammer

We head inside, put his crystals and ore into a bowl and I take the eggs out of the fridge. I remember that the last three nights, my son and I have fallen asleep laughing together.

My “uh” has grown with me and found giggling in the covers. 

The clock near my desk is silent while the butter melts in the pan and my little boy sifts through his crystals and ore. Dinner is almost ready, homework is done enough, and we have all the time in the world, at least for this moment.


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Your hosts are, as always, me, Kristi from Finding Ninee and this week’s sentence-thinker-upper, Deirdre from Deirdre’s Daily Dose.

 Loading InLinkz ...

  • Kelly L McKenzie - There were crystals inside! How very cool. Good on ya, Mom. It’s so hard when there seems like time is precious and never enough and then they want to play mining. Or some other game that you DON’T want to play but know you should. And will. Thank you for giving me a dinner idea, btw. Just off the phone with my daughter who ate three hours ago and was shocked that I’d no dinner plan. Now I can text her it’s eggs.April 14, 2016 – 10:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to your daughter being shocked that you had no dinner plan and you getting one from me! Eggs are easy and so yummy!! And yeah, there’s always a game I’m not excited about playing but I usually feel good after giving in 🙂April 15, 2016 – 4:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Awww that was sweet. You both survived a night of spelling and were awarded crystals and a story to tell. I bet you didn’t see that coming!April 14, 2016 – 10:19 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I didn’t see it coming at all but you’re right – it really was a sweet night.April 15, 2016 – 5:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Did he know there were going to be crystals? I mean, that is pretty damn cool. Oh Kristi, I want more time more than I want more money and a smaller waist. I swear! Lately I keep listening to Bonnie Rait’s song, “Nick of Time.” I’ve already loved it, but now, man, it his home. “Scared to run out of time…”April 14, 2016 – 10:23 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m SO scared to run out of time Allie! So much more than I want more money or a smaller waist (and your waist is tiny so shuddup) or less wrinkles…April 15, 2016 – 5:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Aw, love how this ended and by the way, we love eggs for dinner, too. Just sayingApril 15, 2016 – 2:02 amReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - If I had more time I’d give my son his massages, apples trundles, homemade biscotti so, veal Oscar and all the little things he loves that I do for him but the nature of growing up is we don’t have the time like we use to.

    But if I had the time, I’d tell my dear friend that her son will never give up on himself achieving because his Mom never gave up on him. She will be there every time he reads the word stove like when he moves into his college dorm and reads to instruction for a “gas stove” he will think of his Mom probably wishing she was there to handle the gas stove. When he is married and furnishing his first home with his pregnant wife buying a “stove”. He will laugh and tell his wife how the word stove was incredibly hard for him to spell because of phonetics. And how you worked for hours with him teaching him to spell the word “stove” and how he found you a crystal afterwards for never giving up on him and always believing in him.

    Then a few years later when his son reaches to touch the hot “stove”. He will quickly grab his hand away and say, “safety gear” and then tell your grandson how hard you worked with him teaching him to spell “stove” and it was really hard because the constant vowel configuration was just like his baseball teammates name “Steve”. But you never gave up on him and then he will kiss your grandson and tell him, “Buddy no matter how hard the task is, we will face it together because the Campbell’s never give up on each other.”

    Finally if I had the extra time, I’d tell my friend that children with ASD diagnosed or not are not phonetic readers. So many teachers make this mistake with ASD children. ASD children are sight readers. They are more encoders than decodes so there are tricks to make spelling easier. Get the month’s list. Shut the demons up…you are the boss. There are really inexpensive programs that take spelling words and make them into different games like crossword puzzles. You read the clue and he writes the word. Have him do it several times a week. Calling a team meeting and having him get word games at the beginning of the month so you can knock this out would free up more of your ore time but it is not what you do but that you are spending family time together that matters.

    Tucker has an incredible Mom and he will have high standards for his wife with his child. If I had more time I’d tell you Tucker is a sight reader. He probably has everything memorized he sees hence he knew the crystal was in the rock. And you are his wonderful cherished ore. The magic crystal was your reward. Ask any ASD reading specialist…our kids are not phonetic readers but learn to read through sight words only.

    That is what I’d do if I had more time. The school just needs to approach this from an ASD teaching perspective and not just hand you the spelling words.

    Word scribbles
    Index cards with the words all over his room will make him remember…teach by sight.

    Lol about auto correct!!April 15, 2016 – 3:31 amReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - Jeez! I absolutely loved your take, Kristi. Also agree that what the heck if the kid spells stove or steve cause we have autocorrect then why get stressed out!

    Omelettes for dinner is always a yummy and quick dinner. I usually whip it up and family rejoices too 🙂April 15, 2016 – 3:48 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - I love eggs for dinner! And I love your last line – it’s perfect.April 15, 2016 – 8:33 amReplyCancel

  • Katy - What a sweet “time” you had with your boy. 🙂April 15, 2016 – 8:53 amReplyCancel

  • Jamie Miles - Oh Kristi– you and I had the same wish. More time. Or did we? I love your peaceful resolve to not let the business and busyness of life pull your heart and mind away from sharing moments — totally engaged with your son. You are my hero.April 15, 2016 – 9:08 amReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I love eggs for dinner. And it’s weird how sometimes I really do feel like I Have all the time in the world. Like today, with a sick(ish) Des at home and the seconds ticking by almost loudly audibly.
    Other times, it’s all a cruel flash.April 15, 2016 – 11:00 amReplyCancel

  • Rabia @TheLiebers - I love how time stands still when you really need it too. I’m glad you were able to spend that extra time with him and smash rocks together. That’s the stuff he’ll remember. Not the scars.April 15, 2016 – 11:29 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Rabia, and you’re right. I really hope he remembers that stuff especially on days like today when he’s in the bathroom with the iPad…April 15, 2016 – 5:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie Martinka Severson - So, did you mix the bowl of ore and crystals in with the eggs? 🙂 That’d be quite an omelet! Kristi, there’s just noone who captures a moment and dialogue like you. And, yeah, thank goodness you were wearing sunglasses for protection. Your son is beyond precious–he’s so busy and creative, pulling you into the best conversations ever!April 15, 2016 – 12:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - Great post Kristi! Beautiful. And we’re having eggs for dinner because I’ve been busy writing!
    I can also relate to missing “littler him.” I did that with my girls for a long time. Oddly, now they are young adults, it doesn’t seem to happen so often.
    I won’t be joining in this weekend, because -um – I haven’t had time! 🙂 (I’m off to family funeral) Maybe next week.April 15, 2016 – 12:27 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so very much Yvonne! Yay to eggs for dinner and to writing! I’m sorry to read that you’re off to a family funeral 🙁 and join when you have time!April 15, 2016 – 5:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - Beautiful!!! Just beautiful!!April 15, 2016 – 12:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Oh, I miss my little kids too, but you are wise to live in the moment, even if that means eggs for dinner.

    I hear the clock so loudly lately – it feels like a bomb. I need to disable it and give myself time.April 15, 2016 – 3:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Corinne Rodrigues - We should always make time for what matters. I’m glad you do. You inspire me, Kristi.April 15, 2016 – 4:00 pmReplyCancel

  • K - I love your way with words, Kristi! xo I smiled when you said “So tell me what you’re thinking.” I love that you didn’t dismiss him, that you took the time to really listen to what he wanted and you found a way to make it work. Thinking back on my own childhood, the little things my mom did for me (like ice cream cones for no reason at all because “why does there have to be a reason for ice cream,” and letting me paint her nails even though she knew I’d get more nail polish on the table than on her nails… :)) – those are what mattered the most. You’re a fantastic mom.April 15, 2016 – 9:01 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - K!!! How are you, girl??? Ice cream cones for no reason are huge, as is laughing for no reason and yeah, that’s the stuff that matters. Been thinking about you as your year at school comes to an end… Sending so much love!April 16, 2016 – 11:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Lewis - All you need (sometimes) is Now 🙂April 15, 2016 – 11:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Wendy Harris - Oh! This grabbed at my heart, as the mommy for a little boy and his sister who grew up way too fast while I was busy making supper and paying bills and chasing homework. Kudos to you for taking time to mine ore, I think he was just meant to find those crystals. He will remember… and far down the road you will remember too!
    from Josie’s JournalApril 16, 2016 – 1:15 amReplyCancel

  • Bev - I sadly often find myself rushing through life with my daughter. It’s a good reminder that we need to slow down more and I need to appreciate these moments while we can. And I know when she’s older I’ll miss aspects of the Littler version of her as well. As a wiggly toddler, I miss infant Eve that would fall asleep on my belly. Though toddler Eve is honestly more fun!April 16, 2016 – 6:43 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Bev, I think that one of the biggest challenges is getting through the minutes so I get that so much. But the minutes that get us??? Those, we have to find a way to hang onto.April 16, 2016 – 11:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - I swear every time I come here, your words pull me in. I’m there with you in those moments you write about and feel every emotion you so brilliantly expose underneath the surface of it all. I always feeling my senses perk up when I’m here. You awaken those undercurrents in me that I often dismiss or neglect in the hurried pace of life. Thank you for that. You evoke in me ALL the *feels*. <3April 16, 2016 – 12:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle Grewe - Time is relative. The clock says it has all the time in the world. The clock is wise for something that isn’t real.April 16, 2016 – 2:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Leanne Russell - I was asked to be part of a 3 day quote challenge and to also nominate three other bloggers….so I’ve chosen you! Apparently it can be original or not. 16, 2016 – 5:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Lea Marie Kissick - This post is beautiful. It shows how we waste the precious resources that our life gives us, but also how we cherish them.April 17, 2016 – 1:05 amReplyCancel

  • April Grant - I couldn’t ask for more time because I know I would just find more things to do. 🙂 I love that you went mining! My kiddos would love this. And eggs for dinner are great.April 17, 2016 – 10:06 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - I’m in love
    with your words & heart <3
    You are like a small prayer. xApril 19, 2016 – 5:30 pmReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



CommentLuv badge

N e v e r   m i s s   a   n e w   p o s t !