Thursday, December 06, 2007

Where was I?

Sitting on the cold tiles of the bathroom floor last night, as the girls played with big plastic colanders in the bathtub, I was hit with wave after wave of reality, its force as jarring as unexpected splashes of cool water. I am simply dizzied by the contradictory nature of the passage of time as a parent. How can it move so mercilessly fast and yet allow us these pockets of time in which moments last for hours, and the spirit of those moments nestles deep within to sustain us as time marches forward.

Their knobby knees were poking out of the water and their shiny wet hair clung to their necks and extended well beyond their shoulders, so long and unbaby-like. They flipped around, the water sloshing and their bodies slipping on the slick porcelain tub. I lurched to catch them, but their sinewy arms shot out, and they handily caught and righted themselves before I had a chance. I felt at once empty and proud.

I don't mean to dwell on how fleeting this stage is, and in a way, I suppose I am grateful that I struggle so to accept it. I just never knew how old three really was (or 18 months for that matter), I didn't understand how early the process of growing up began. No one told me how quickly life would go after I became a mom - wrinkles and dimples, big girl shoes and comfortable flats, top 40 music and home shows. Sometimes I just wish I could take three steps back, but then I look at all I am gaining: confidence, theirs and mine; wisdom, again, theirs and mine; and of course the deepening of love, for Sean, our girls and myself.

All that said, I still wonder how can Briar look so tiny one moment and so impossibly grown up the next? How did Avery shed all of her babyness save her belly without my noticing? How did my profile go from bumpish to zip codeish? And how did I ever stumble upon a guy like Sean who understands my every emotional hiccup and makes spilling 36 ounces of much needed coffee all over his office seem like an endearing thing?

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15 comments:

Janet said...

Simultaneously empty, proud...and lucky. Right?

Or at least, that's how I feel most of the time.

Amy Y said...

Amen, mama.

flutter said...

awww, Amanda. Your life *sigh*

Occidental Girl said...

That's very sweet.

I don't know how it goes by so quickly. I don't know when those kids lose their babyness and become little girls. It's astonishing!

Lisa Milton said...

I'm afraid the passage of time just keeps steaming by us.

Zack's missing his top teeth, and I swear he just was teething.

And Lexi is chewing up novels, just like me, begging to keep reading.

It trips me out.

kim said...

Just starting to peruse your blog but the honesty of your words touches me deeply, especially with baby girl #2 on the way.

Thanks for commenting. :)

Danielle said...

No one really knows, do they? I guess the point isn't so much to figure out how it all happens, but to just enjoy that it does. But you've got that one covered and then some. :) I too hunger for a time when my 3 year old and I rolled on the floor giggling together, while at the same time reveling in her and her brother's (same age as Avery)every maturing achievement.

Anyway, I tagged you for a meme over at Cackalackie.

Angela said...

So lovely and bittersweet.

Jenn said...

I'm thinking that Karma had something to do with your hubby and you.

A big thank you from the universe for all the love that you put out there.

And the time thing? Oh God, I'm not even pregnant and I'm crying at my desk.

If I could tell you how many times I wish I could just stop time right here, right now....

Colleen said...

How wonderful to pull such thoughts out of activities like bath time.

jen said...

oh sister. the beauty is everywhere, isn't it. this post is lovely. i've missed you.

painted maypole said...

"dwell on how fleeting"

a perfect word choice for this passing of time

Lisa said...

I love reading what you write because you write about my life...only way better than I do. Goosey had her Christmas program last night, and up there, dressed in her lamb costume, she looked so young & innocent. But right now as she's "reading" a book on the family room floor, she seems so grown up and has come so crazy far! Augh - the joys of motherhood,huh?

dawn224 said...

Sigh. How about how Alex's bookshelves are lined with books that Scout and I remember reading ... or reading him the Three Little Kittens and I hear my mom's voice echoing the words as she would read it to me.... And now I watch him move his fingers in his sleep and I long for and dread the day that he sleeps like a little boy and not a baby.....

Kimberly said...

Great post. My husband (who is a stay-at-home-dad twice a week) says parenting consists of the longest days and shortest years of his life. So true.