Friday, October 1, 2010

as time goes by


A significant day. A date to remember now, and in the future. Markers to date my life by.

I've been thinking of signposts since yesterday was Winston's birthday.

Three years ago I was just pregnant with Bean, visiting my parents and seeking solace in their presence.

Two years ago I was getting back from a trip to Montana with a very smooshable Bean and an equally smooshable Chip. I spent dad's birthday feeling overwhelmed with projects long ignored at the house during our absence.

A year ago I was lying awake and fretful in a hotel room in Spokane. It involved visions of zombies and giant mice, need I say more?

What I'm thinking about today is how quickly the time goes. How fast things speed from one memory to the next - like hilltops of visionary imagination, we skip from one highlight to the next, with the valleys of our every day sinking from view. Even as I am wrapped in the present of today: watching Bean in her two-and-a-halfness... surrounded by her experience of the world. All of it seems so bright, so prescient, so very palpable. Inconceivable that I won't hold every bit of these memories in my mind a year from now.

Experience has taught me otherwise. As vivid as these moments feel today, they will slip from my fingers and sink into oblivion tomorrow. It just happens. These little bits of life, they slip by and are gone. What's left in their wake are the highlights (and lowlights): the things earmarked in our brains as something monumental to hold on to. I don't really understand the workings of it, because this system has cataloged a moment spent in my childhood bedroom when I was probably six or seven, the room I shared with my sister, standing at the foot of my bed staring at Kimmie's poster of Andy Gibb (red shirt, blue jeans, gold chain). This memory is safely stored in my mind alongside sizable chunks of my wedding day and the first time I held Alice. I don't always understand why my brain chooses one thing over another, but I know that it is so.

So my answer is this: make something count. I can't be present in every single moment, no matter how hard I try, but I can do my best to commit certain images to memory. Force my cranium hard drive to record these times that I so desperately want to remember.

Helping mom and Alice pick pears.

The thrill of dad's face when he's spending time with his grandchildren.

Watching my little brother's huge hands as he's changing his daughter's diaper.

Kissing my mother on the top of her head.

Eating lunch with my sister and talking about the madcap adventure of raising a toddler.

Running into my sister-in-law who was only in town --from Louisiana-- to spend time with her mother who was in the hospital--- in (of all places) the Target parking lot.

Marveling at mom's patience as she's trying to get Alice to eat strawberry yogurt (WITH CHUNKS IN IT).

Singing happy birthday to dad on his birthday.

Because it is such a happy day. A stupendous day. A day to certainly remember.


Bethsix said...

Definitely. It is work just to BE PRESENT sometimes. A lot of the time. But those are the times I seem to remember most.

Anonymous said...

Can I tell you how much I love this picture? Esp this week when my tiny baby turned 4. FOUR! Time goes at a disproportionate rate when you have a child. & I've been feeling the last couple weeks that all I do is rush every day trying to get one thing done and onto the next. I feel like I tell my kid "we're late" or "we have to hurry" so often that it's lost meaning with her.

This has really been on my mind lately and this comment is lengthy enough perhaps I should blog aout it myself. But that's just one more thing I can't fit in right now.

Anyway, the original point was, this picture captures my mood most perfectly. Thank you.