Time passes by quickly. It’s a recurring theme in life. It slips passed us while we buy milk, drive to work, make supper. I try to enjoy the small moments with my kids and my husband, but it’s often something I have to remind myself to do, in the midst of the frantic rushing that has become my life since returning to work from my second maternity leave.
With all the rushing around, I sometimes forget to think about anything else. Like the passage of time, and all the things (and people) that I’ve lost.
Nineteen years ago we celebrated your final birthday, and for the life of me I can’t remember a single detail of it. Because at the time, we had not even an inkling that it would be your last. If I had known it would be your last birthday, I’d like to think that I would have locked it away in my memory banks. I would have tried to remember if we went out for supper or stayed home, what kind of cake we had, whether or not we ended the evening with a visit to Grandma’s house.
In the past 19 years, I’ve had a full life, filled with happiness and sorrow; the positive outweighing the bad. But for every moment of pure joy, it’s tainted with the faintest of shadows of your absence. There are days when the loss feels like a fresh wound, others a distant memory. It’s not linear. There is no clear ending and beginning to grief.
Today I do not grieve a life lost; I celebrate a life lived; a person who taught me the importance of valuing each person you meet, helping others when you have the means. My little munchkins may never have had the chance to meet you, but they will know you. Your photo will always be prominently displayed on my bookshelf, and your story will be told.
At work I get the variations on the same question asked by various people “How are the boys? Keeping you busy?” Usually I just smile and say something like “yeah. They’re a hoot. lots of energy, etc. etc. etc.” These kind people don’t really want to hear about what my days are really like with my two guys – especially those without kids. Anyone with kids knows that a day with a toddler and a preschooler is both wonderful and horrible at the same time.
Wonderful: listening to Joe enact a story with his action figures (he calls them “power guys”). The stories usually have some connection to a movie or book, but veer off into his fabulous imagination.
Horrible: Listening to Tom cry while I clean poop off his older brother in the downstairs bathroom. Tom had been awake for three minutes, and generally likes a good snuggle after a long nap.
Wonderful: Tom singing and doing motions to “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” while I read his older brother a book.
Horrible: spending 1.5 hours doing “bedtime” because my husband is away over night and the boys go to sleep at different times.
Wonderful: snuggling with Joe, telling him a story. He falls asleep halfway through with his finger in his mouth (a recent habit, most likely a throwback to his soother days).
Wonderful: cracking open a bottle of white wine at 8:15 to begin a relaxing evening.
Wonderful: this picture. they spent 10 minutes hanging out in the fridge, for reasons that still aren’t quite clear.
I have two kids. boys. they are funny and silly and stubborn and smart. and they both have awesome smiles and the biggest brown eyes. Strangers tell me how adorable they are, so I have proof that it’s not just my bias when I look at them and think they are beautiful….not that it matters.
I have never posted a photo of them on facebook…my husband and I discussed this before the oldest was born and decided that we didn’t want to create this uncontrolable footprint of our child online. I have a million pictures of them that I want to share though, so my resolve is starting to fade. At the very least, names will be changed to protect the innocent (or at least the ones who have yet to learn to spell. Innocent is a strong word.)
I started a blog a long time ago, before they were popular, before I had kids, when my life consisted of working and partying and going out to dinner four nights a week. At the time, it seemed odd…who would ever want to read about my random babblings? So after a few months, I stopped, but kept on wishing that I hadn’t. Now, several years later I want to give it another go. I figure I have more to talk about now than I did then. I’m older, crankier and much more opinionated then I was in my 20s.
Oh, and I have two little people who give me so much material. Keep watching this space.