My youngest sister once told me: “No one will ever invent a time machine. If they had, they would have come back to tell us.”
I’ve always felt I could mentally time travel by reading my old diaries. I’ve written about my days since I was 11 years old; the box containing my scribblings is my prized possession. If I’m interrupted while engrossed, I can almost feel myself being sucked through time back to the present.
But it wasn’t until I became a mum that I felt that physical time travel was possible.
I first realised it when the wee man wouldn’t settle and, having run out of nursery rhymes, I suddenly started singing The Frog Chorus by Paul McCartney. The last time I sang that song I was five years old. As I concentrated on recalling the lyrics, I was vividly sitting on a pink carpet next to my brown Fisher Price tape recorder. I was wearing a pink and white striped cotton dress with Minnie Mouse on it and my Mum was calling up to me “not so loud Kimmy”. When the wee man stirred in my arms I nearly dropped him, I felt so completely in that moment.
It happened again when I was in a nightclub on Saturday night – one I hadn’t been to in years. I was with girlfriends I’ve known since I was at primary school and we were dancing to Superstition by Stevie Wonder. Jenny was laughing at the guy trying to dance with her, Steph was clutching two drinks and Kirstin was looking around making sure the Spanish guy she’d once met there wasn’t going to jump out at her from the shadows. I was 17 again, unmarried, without a single responsibility – my only worry whether I could drive to school in the morning without being over the limit.
The taxi ride home was like a journey through time and I headed straight up to the nursery to remind myself who I was. His sweet sleeping face grounded me like an anchor. I stared down at him and realised that every moment has been leading to this. Whenever I’m remembering, he will be the 1.21 jiggawatts I need to get home.