Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day 5.119

So for the last couple years I've taken a day in April to do what I call "Day in the Life" (every year since Henry was born...except that first one, which I'm forgiving because HANDS REALLY FULL) .  On those days, I take a lot of pictures throughout the day, then choose the highlights from the time we get up until bedtime and make a record of...well, a day in our life.  It's meant to be a way for us (Mike and I) to really be aware of and embrace the way our life is at present, and a way for the kids to have something tangible of who they were growing up.  Also, it's my way of releasing ALL THE SAP, because if you let that crap build up, you start showing affection in public and that's when everyone hates you and it's really just better this way.

This April's "Day in the Life" (it was Saturday, not today, but it takes a while to sit down with these things and then weep openly and then organize it and blah blah blah) hit me super hard out of nowhere:  this is the last year recording our life as the parents of very small children.  I mean, the kids won't be adults next year at 4 and 6 or anything, but they also won't be babies anymore.  Or even toddlers.  Charlie will be in first grade, which is, like, legit big kid stuff.  And Henry will be a preschooler.  There will be no more diapers (...fingers crossed I didn't just jinx that), no more cribs, no more bibs, no more high chairs, no more nap time (we like to pretend we still have that now, just shut up and leave me alone with my illusions).  This is the year the door finally closes on that long, crazy, sweet, hard, so hard, chapter.  This is the year I thought would not ever come.  This is the year that came too fast.

I can't even count the times I've said -- and been 100% honest every time -- that I'm not a baby person.  I managed to not kill mine, to love them, care for them and nurture them and protect them as best I could, but I never was able to savor their infancy the way some people do.  With Charlie, my first, the postpartum depression was unexpected, unrecognized until much later, and WAY more than I was capable of handling.  I think I came out of it just in time to give birth to Henry.  And then there was a whole new set of issues with Henry and his birth drama and then having two kids and, and, and...  I'm not a calm, zen person.  You give me a situation in which to get whizzed out and I will whiz out.  Babyhood was one of those situations for me. 

But in the middle of the hurricane that is spanking new parenthood, I found moments.  In the rocking chair in the dark with Henry.  Watching Charlie chew on his own toes while we lay on my bed.  And now those moments are done.  I do not want them back; I don't want another baby and I don't want the ones I have to be babies forever.  I adore who my boys are and who they're becoming as they grow.  And yet.  None of that makes it any easier to know it's over.   

Anyway.  I say all that to say this -- I hate when people say, "Savor every moment, they'll be gone soon."  Every moment isn't worth savoring.  I'm more than happy to leave a big ol' chunk of them behind me.  Screw those moments.  But there are some, plenty, I do want to keep a death grip on.  So this is me, being an observer and being present at the same time.  It's us, at precisely 35 and 32 and 5 and 3.  It is waking up early, happy dogs forever, learning to read the alphabet all over again, bad haircuts on the front porch, "help" with the chores, ridiculous pink nail polish, potty training, temporary tattoos, permanent love of cars, and my whole heart.  Mostly, it's savoring and letting go all at once.