01 February 2012

Growing Up

Time wings by, passing us unless we mark it somehow. He's more than two months now, and the early days, the ones everyone tells you to hold onto, are going and gone, and me with vague impressions in my head of smiles and coos. Already, too-small clothes pile up and I try to face truth that I may never see a child of mine in them again.

And she's two years, and I wonder where the hours are. I feel there must be a pile, somewhere, of seconds and minutes that I missed. We couldn't possibly have lived enough of them for her to be so big.

Time passes, and I can try to hold onto it or I can look at their faces now. I can wonder what I missed, which precious moments didn't get catalogued by photograph or memory, or I can look at what I have, at what my hands hold now, and marvel.

Moments weren't meant to be held. A few, perhaps, we'll cradle forever, but most of them are meant to be lived. I mean the bad ones, too, the ones where she learns she's not part of me and two asserts itself with a vengeance, and the ones where tummy aches keep him awake and tired baby eyes beseech the world for sleep.

Stopping time would be a luxury, but it would also be a curse. I could hold the moments I want to remember, have enough time in them to write them down or take that picture or build an altar. But how to know when to stop the clock? What if the next ones would get even better? And, oh, the agony of choosing to start time again, not knowing what's ahead.

And so we go through life, unable to skirt around the edges even if we want to. For truly living isn't just making memories, it's also marching through the unmemorable and choosing to continue, and it's knowing that we can't hold onto everything we love, that not even our memories are entirely our own.

7 comments:

Heather said...

So true. It's so hard to let go of little moments (as if we have a choice!), but without letting go of them, without the changes, there may never be (fill in the blank). Ah, the aches and joys of motherhood.

Ticklish Nymph said...

Beautiful. Such a good reminder for me, even before Molly is here :)

Tara said...

oh, my. how you speak the ache of it all. just beautiful.

emily wierenga said...

oh sarah, so much of this spoke to me... this: I feel there must be a pile, somewhere, of seconds and minutes that I missed. (it makes me gasp) and the last paragraph... marching... yes, marching. oh friend. i'm so honored to have met you in person and i hope you'll stay in touch. blessings, e.

terri said...

I feel so much regret periodically at the memories lost with my babies. Now that they're young men they'll ask me things about when they were little once in a while and I hate not being able to tell them what they want to know. The words you shared here helped. I was always kind of partial to just hanging out with my kids and not caring too much about anything else. I tell myself that they are who they have become partially because they had a mom (and a dad) who looked them in the eye and loved them more than anything. That's better than a whole book of memories. I see them now and I know that now is very good.

sojourner said...

OMG! Your baby is 2 and there is another more than 2 mos!!!!!! I've So sorry :0(

kirsten said...

I'm not too coherent perhaps, but I can nod in recognition, in agreement, and resonance. And then I can be in this moment.