Time Stands in the Way

By Kara Eberle

Smart Mama

Time can be my best friend and my worst enemy.

When Mara wakes me at 4:30 a.m., I’m not a big fan.

When I’m rocking on the front porch on a breezy summer afternoon with Mara on my lap, I’m happy for every second.

But nothing is worse than when Mara is sick, and she’s at day care on the east end of York while I’m at work on the west end.

Take last Wednesday for example:

4:12 p.m.

Get a call from day care telling me Mara is sick. She has a fever of 101.1 and has a tummy ache.

4:15 p.m.

Rush out of work, quickly telling my boss where I’m going as I almost run to my car.

4:19 p.m.

Sit in traffic on Route 30, for what seems like forever.

4:26 p.m.

Call day care to tell them I really am coming, if only the traffic on Route 30 would move.

4:44 p.m.

Arrive at day care, rush in and hug my feverish little girl.


The rush-hour traffic standing between my little girl and me made me want to scream.

I wanted to blink my eyes or wiggle my nose and appear by her side.

But I’m a mere mortal.

In reality, it took me about 30 minutes to get to day care.

Because I had to sit in that miserable standstill line of cars and trucks, just like everyone else.


Of course, this wasn’t the first time I’ve gotten such a call from day care.

Nor will it be the last.

But, it always hurts to know that my baby needs me, and I can’t instantly be by her side.

Kara Eberle is editor of Smart. Sign up for a free subscription to the magazine at

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