Thursday, September 06, 2007

"And Their Echo Will Never Cease"

By Jennifer M. Wilson

My son and daughter, twins, are now two and a half years old, and I am going through their things, sorting what can be sold or donated and what I want to keep for sentimental reasons.

I am not planning on having any more children (I am almost 37), and it seems like I just had these two. It seems to me as though I am still recovering from new parenthood, and yet I am researching pre-schools and giving away baby gear and noticing that the photo in my wallet is already a year and a half old and needs to be updated.

How did I go so long without updating that photo?

The first four months all I did was take care of them and take photos of them.

Photos that displayed round scrunched-up faces whose beauty I now see was so exhalted in my eyes that looking at these pictures now, I have to wonder if anyone really meant it when they cooed, "Oh how beautiful!"

Not that I care what anyone thought, it just strikes me as funny now, that time has given me perspective on what was once the most beautiful thing I had ever layed eyes on in my life.

Now I have trouble remembering, I have trouble recognizing my own babies as I have grown so used to their wide-eyed little people gazes. Their funny faces and their angry gestures fill my days with things I cannot believe I will ever forget. But I already know how much the mind pushes aside as it moves forward.

Ten years ago I felt as though I had lived so much life, in my pursuit of endless experience, that there was hardly room for any more. I felt ready to settle down, and yet I had a few more paths to travel before it came to that. And now I can see just how far we still have to go.

And I am beginning to get a hint of just how quickly it will pass. And I am hearing the voice inside of me yearning for my own time, my own space again, wishing I could spend a morning writing and reading Proust instead of cleaning up Cheerios and refilling sippy cups.

And yet I fight it. I fight it as best I can and try to turn my attention back to them when I notice my journal sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Because I can see in the tiny outfits I barely remember them wearing, in the shoes so small I have to stare at them and rub my fingers over them to believe my own children wore them once, I can see that before I know it, I will have all the time in the world again, as much time as I will allow.

Jennifer Wilson lives and writes in Pennsylvania. Visit her wonderful website, and check out her novel, "Witch," at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, this is beautiful. My daughter is 21 and you're right, it does go very fast. Lauren has grown to be a lovely, gifted, independent, and productive young woman. I still get weepy when I think of her babyhood and even when at 16, when she asked to cuddle with me and watch the Gilmore Girls. Now a college grad, she's on her own and doing well. That's what we pray will happen but I still at times long for the times when she would crawl on my lap just to cuddle. If the truth be known, I'd still let her if she asked. Bravo and thank you.
Nancy Thaler