Thursday, September 06, 2007
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 http://www.jennifermwilson.com.