16 November 2006

time: 1, me: 0

perspective is hard to maintain. my rantings of late have been about the hardships of parenting a 2 year old. and they are many. the power struggles. the "NO mommys." the impatience (on both our parts). they are all things we must navigate daily.

but sometimes when there is a quiet moment when no one is particularly upset or happy and we're not involved in any activity i look down at my growing-way-too-fast boy and time stops briefly between the two of us. i can see the whir of color and motion around us--sped-up time in my peripheral vision. but in the bubble of motionlessness it's just he and i. and i wonder so many things about him in that instance. what will he be like when he grows up? what will he study in college? what will he LOOK like? what will his first girlfriend (or boyfriend) look like? what will he think about? what will he teach me?

i try to imagine all this--all the answers. and then, when my few seconds are up, sped-up time around us seeps back in and swallows us up again. and i'm looking at my 2 year old and thinking, "i need to appreciate every moment with him just as he is right now, because i'll never get it back. and it'll be gone SO unkindly fast."

this whole thought process sure does make me think about the possibility of child #2. to get to do it all again would be so lovely in so many ways. it's true. but it's not enough. because i'll never get to do it again with bb. i only get one shot with him. and i'm already so saddened that i don't remember his infancy the way i want to. was it sleep deprivation? the shock and deer-in-the-headlightness of becoming a parent and being needed 24/7? i'm not sure. but if i do it again. i'm going to try to remain more present.

wish me luck.


Leslie said...

That is one of the best things my mom ever taught me. Don't wish it all away. Just be there.

We're so lucky. This is a beautiful post, you ought to publish it. I mean really publish it. Not blog-publish. :)

Oh, and have another baby. You'll never wish you didn't.

Jamie said...

Sometimes it's hard to slow down and enjoy every little moment, and then before you know it, it's gone.

Thanks for a great post.

sari said...

I think forgetting a little bit is just a part of living in the now.

Sometimes I'll see my eight year old with his friends and they've all known each other for four years, and they've all changed so much, and it's just so wonderful to see them all together and see them so happy.

I think as a parent, you just want your kids happy, and enjoying your time with them is the biggest part of that. They'll grow up to enjoy things as well.

Allie said...

Your post touched me as I often blog about how quickly my little boy is growing up and that I never seem to have enough time to soak it all in. Our babies are so very precious aren't they?

I can't even allow myself to think of my son in college. Just the other day someone had mentioned about him starting preschool next September and I sat there in stunned shock. My baby will be 3 in September and I already have to think about putting him in school?

I am a full time working mommy and we have #2 on the way come February. I am very much looking forward to going on my maternity leave as that will mean that I will get to spend every day with my children. I cherish every weekend that I spend with my son as that is 48+ hours of pure Mommy and son time.

At least once a week, my husband and I dream that one day we will come into money that will allow me to stay home full time with our children. Sigh .... now only if that would really happen. Until then, I will just continue to cherish every moment that I have with my son as he is growing oh so very quickly.

beth said...

I love those slow motion moments between us. I always promise myself I'll be more present from then on and it always takes me until the next "moment" to remember my promise. But I love and appreciate them when they happen.

Christina said...

You described it perfectly. At times we're so caught up in just trying to get them dressed and out the door so we aren't late, that we miss all of the sweet moments of this age.

I'm finding myself already mourning the baby phase that has already passed us by. She's growing so fast, and it's so hard to keep up.

lindsay brandon said...

i feel that way about my own life, kate, even without babies.

i think part of it, for me, is being able to let go of the past and believe that there are still better things coming. i'm sad about things i can't remember about my own childhood, or about when NCG and i were first in love--that heady stuff that never comes again. whenever i find myself mourning that, i try to remember what great (though difficult) stuff is on the horizon: finding out about being married, the wisdom that's hopefully accompanying my wrinkles, the constant learning that i'm getting better at every day whether i believe it or not. sometimes i hear this mantra in my head about "appreciate! appreciate! this is never going to happen again!" that can be as much pressure as it is a blessing . . .

i have a hard time with faith in general, but i the definition i'm trying to work with right now is a certain quiet surety that the good stuff is never really over. i admire you so much.

lindsay brandon said...

oh, the other thing i was going to say:

part of how i combat this is through photography. somehow, the visual record is meaningful to me not because it shows you how the moment "really was" but because it can trigger new understandings of the scraps of memory you hold on to and attach to the image . . . which is just to say that, apart from the fact that NYU owns me right now, i'll take pictures of your family till the cows come home, any time you want.