Sitting here at the dining table my whole life flashed before my eyes and suddenly I am transported to a time when I was younger. Maybe 13. I am still the same, but different. The nostalgia for my youth washes over me like a soft dream followed by worry for my daughters and what they will have to face in their growth process and wanting to take from them the pain or the self-consciousness so they don’t feel it. I want them to know there is no reason for irrational self-doubt.
On quiet nights when the girls are tucked in their beds and the house settles for just a few moments I can reflect on the pictures that make up this life and the memories that envelop my thoughts. My brief dream and ideas of happiness and quiet peace is interrupted by a child coming out of her bed to ask for a snack.
I am right now typing with my eyes closed because my 7 year old interrupted this post and was shocked that I could type without looking at the keys. She is covering my eyes in disbelief. Do I get angry she is out of bed? Should I get mad at her? I am not in the mood tonight to be mad. She doesn’t deserve for me to get mad at her.
There were nights when I was young when it felt like sleep would never come. I would lie for what seemed like hours willing my body to sleep and it would never come. I was too scared when I was little to walk downstairs to see my parents. They were not mean and looking at it now my fear was unfounded.
All too often I find myself rushing through life like I am in a hurry to get to some destination of which I know not where. Rushing to grow up or succeed, but at the same time waiting for something. I don’t know how I rush and wait at the same time, but it happens.
I stopped while bathing the baby tonight and just looked at her. Taking her all in with her giggles and her endless spinning, splashing and belly laughs.
I don’t want to rush and I don’t want to wait. I just want to be and do and live.
I know many people feel like they want to stop time with their children. Put all the cuteness and the sweetness in a capsule and freeze it forever. But I don’t feel that way. I want to grow old with my children.
There are moments I do have in a capsule. The last hug my mother gave me before she died. The birth of my daughters. When Steve and I got married and when Ella first rode her bike.
Life is so very beautiful and at times you can feel that you are outside of it watching it fly by.
But then there are the quiet moments when memories from long ago come to the surface and suddenly you see it all at once and feel bigger than yourself.
I am far from complete in my own self-exploration and growth, but I hope my daughters spend a larger portion of their lives with a degree of certainty and happiness I have finally managed to find for myself.
Hopefully I won’t be waiting or rushing too much to miss my chances to help them with that.