Colin is three days from turning fourteen months old, as the cursor blinks. It is absolutely amazing how fast time goes by when you're a Mom who chooses to stay at home with her child and, almost completely ignores the calendar. If it weren't for the fall television schedule, Facebook, my Husband or holiday's, I would probably not know what day it is.
As it is, sometimes I have what I like to call, "blips". It's not all my fault, oh no. These, "blips" occur mostly when I ask my Husband about his work schedule. I ask my Husband in order to find out which days he is off, so me and the C don't have to wake up with him, drive him to work, drive back home, get ready to leave for the day, run errands and then pick up my Husband from work. Yes, it's taxing, which is why I rarely do it but, I digress.
When I ask my Husband about the days he has off work, he inevitably starts talking about his job and my mind completely wanders. It is so bad that I actually start ticking off the chores I need to do, such as laundry, dishes, vacuuming, in other words, things my mind doesn't normally wander off to think about.
I prefer fantasies about being once again thin, sex, travel, food, events that I can attend without the baby, (once I get over my anxiety about leaving the baby with sitters) wondering how I can make money, the next show on television, pretty much anything but chores. Several times, I have found myself hearing the last word he spoke as an echo, realizing that I had left a moment (or two) of awkward silence between us before I dragged my eyes back to his face and found that I had to ask him to repeat what he said.
I know, terrible. Seriously terrible. I could make the argument that his mind has totally wandered when I have gone on a tangent about fashion, makeup or feelings but, it's not about keeping score in my book, it's about being a compassionate, understanding and considerate human being. It is just that, sometimes, my mind wanders like a meandering lolly-gagger holding a cheery red balloon whilst skipping through a flowery meadow and I have a hard time calling it back. It frustrates me, especially when I am trying to plan leaving the house with our child for play dates during the week.
I'll say that I have this-or-that to do and my Husband will look at me and say with a tinge of irritation in his voice, "don't you remember?"
Uh, no, I don't. I completely forgot. Really. Yes, really.
This is how time passes, more in emotion and milestones than actually dates. It passes in, "blips". Maybe, I am just really learning the importance of time. Maybe I am being given the opportunity to appreciate what life can give, the way time passes, not in seconds, minutes, hours and days but in moments that are a cause for laughter, celebration, reflection, grief. Is this what I searched for? Is this what all of my soul searching amounted to?
Yes, I think. Yes.
It doesn't mean that I appreciate it fully. Who can? Only those who have lived life, had it pass by in blinks and blips and feel the stab of regret in their breasts for moments that escaped their grasp. They tell us, with a seemingly cavalier tone to, "cherish the moments we are living now" and, those of us who are living them, hardly hear or feel what they so casually advise. Perhaps, if we slow down the speed of our busy minds and listen, we can hear the sincerity that they hide behind years of, "experience" and all the feelings of regret and bitterness that hide the yearning they feel when they think of what our lives arenow.
In the dark of this October evening, I stood on the stoop of my home and watched as a young blonde girl with fashionably swept bangs applied lip gloss in the visor mirror of the car she was in. As I continued to watch, several more young people stepped out of the car, (almost like a clown car...I remember those days) young men and women, fashionably dressed, speaking in hushed tones that are still loud, (that only young people speak in) the impossibly high heels of the young women stepping on fine bits of sand and dirt as they clacked and walked with hips that hadn't cradled a child, young men following with anticipation. They fairly crackled with vitality, hope and promise of an evening of fun and I sighed with longing. I remembered...I did not know anymore, I remembered. I yearned, if only to just wish and hope and feel that way again in some way.
No, I don't want to go on about how I love and appreciate my life and my child, of course I do but, my heart beats and, as well all do when life presents us with a picture of what we once were, I yearned. I thought I had spent my youth well, trying hard to burn out the flame without really knowing that was what I was doing. I thought that I had lived. I stayed up late, I, "partied" I had my fun and then I had my child. Still, I sometimes yearn.
As I hid my enlarged, motherly frame in the shadows, I wanted to join them in their fun, knowing I no longer belonged. I wanted to feel their vitality and joy, to be a part of it.
No, life is not that sad. There are many things to love and cherish about my life now, as a Wife and a Mother but, I understand now.
The word, "fleeting" means something, even If I did have a decade to, "live it up". HA! Decade...I shudder...
So, maybe I don't want to walk in high heels the entire night. I hate pants that zip and button, (maternity pants spoil you. I won't allow any negative speech about maternity pants, they're my second love. I will stand and defend!!!). No way would I ever, ever, ever, wear, "skinny" jeans. I like going to bed at midnight. I hate to think of a life without my child and, I would go to the ends of the earth, endure torture and pain to keep him with me. I know what my life is and, I do appreciate it but, like everyone who has lived before, I will love it even more when it has become a memory and I can wish to live it again.
That's my right to that special, poignant joy. Warning me, telling me, chiding me to enjoy now, to cherish now is nearly impossible in the way that those who hand out those cliché’s can and do. I cannot feel that way because, I am not there but, I know that I will wish that I had and, no amount of advice or warning can change that....much.
I do what I can, appreciate only so much. I spend too much time regretting that I can't appreciate more, it takes away from appreciating NOW.
So, do us new parents a favor. Hold your tounge. Let us be to muddle through the sleepless nights and trill at first smiles without reminding us to, "enjoy it now, while it lasts" because, you know better than us, babies grow pretty fast. Let us get caught up in it, in the real meaning of life in front of our faces. Let us have our mistakes, triumphs and regrets for ourselves.
6 months ago