Not so very long ago, I had a little boy about to be three, and a brand new baby girl.
It can’t be seen in this picture, but I was also a bereaved mother, because I might also have had a one year old son – twelve days does not make for a long lifetime.
To look at Jeremiah and Annalise today, at nearing 12 and almost 9, makes this picture seem like it was taken a lifetime ago, and it was – Annalise’s lifetime.
There’s a cliche or two about time flying and waiting on no man (or woman, little boy, or newborn baby girl)…
The thing about cliches is that they very often carry kernels of truth.
I still remember this summer day, sitting on my lifelong friend Eden’s couch, nervously watching my little blonde-headed boy, who was born to be a big brother, holding his tiny sister, who brought so much joy and life and light back to us with her safe (if jaundiuced) arrival into our family.
That couch sin’t there anymore, that deliciously adorable towheaded boy is now an almost-teen with a riot of darker-golden curls, and a penchant for physics, chemistry, and technology. He stands to my nose, at the moment, but that isn’t likely to last much longer. He is still an amazing brother.
That itty-bitty girl, so fresh and new, is a robust girl blossoming in many ways. She is a person of many passions – performing, wildlife, art, storytelling, fashion, and challenging her body among them.
I could say that time flies, but the words are so often said that they become almost inaudible…
Instead, I will say that I am grateful to have had all the moments between this one and the above image, the moments that bind me to these children, and them to me. The moments of their becoming.
I haven’t always been proud of how I moved through those moments. I haven’t always been kind. I have repeated mistakes I vowed, as a child, that I never would.
There have been moments when I wasn’t paying attention at all.
I wasted those, and now can never get them back.
There will be a moment, not so very far off, now, when these children of today are grown beyond the need for the support system we currently provide for them. Independence is something they both value; I imagine it, for both of them, as a happy moment when they claim their place in the world, and I settle more into the background of their lives.
Until then, and after, I intend to enjoy as many of these moments as I can fit in, to not let them slip away as though they are infinite, and instead to treat them as the treasures they are.
I am witness to, and still an active participant in, who they are, and who they will become. I want not to forget this, or waste these precious moments on inconsequentials.
And, in those moments when I begin to forget, perhaps this post and this image, captured so long and yet not so long ago, will remind me…
- Mother’s pride: Nimba the gorilla cradles her newborn baby after giving birth at Dutch zoo (dailymail.co.uk)
- Reading, Trying, Watching…and Growing!: ROW80 Update, 4/21/13 (shanjeniah.com)
- Eight Months Ago… (themidnightmamablog.com)
- Baby Wearing – Newborn – Bringing Baby Home (everydayfamily.com)
- Jessica Alba Turns a Scary Parenting Moment into a New Company (everydayfamily.com)
- Coffee and Conversation – “Goat Girl” (shanjeniah.com)
- Trusting the Deeps – ROW80 Update, March 24, 2013 (shanjeniah.com)
- Oh baby! Gastonia firefighters help deliver newborn (wcnc.com)
- Grief (lindsaystevenson1984.wordpress.com)
- Saturday’s Share: A Dog’s Life (shanjeniah.com)