Mom Nostalgia: What Passes In A Blink

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Riding the subway with my sons, I look across to see a baby strapped to his mother’s chest, lovingly patting her face. (And then, not quite so lovingly, trying to stick his fingers up her nose.)

I smile.

Remember.

My two are slumped against me, one at each shoulder; snuggled, tired, happy. On our way home from a boisterous day at the Cloister’s medieval festival, swords and shields safely stowed in our pack.

I think the thought of all parents of older kids:

“How did THAT turn into THIS?”

Blink.

Whoosh.

The days creep.

There are a thousand tediums to the care and feeding of children.

Some days I think:

“If I have to cut and peel one more apple…”

“If I have to hear Sponge Bob laugh one more time…”

But the years zing by in a streaky blur.

kids' paper clocks in a classroom

Credit Image:WoodleyWonderWorks via Flickr


Sometimes I feel the need to reach out with both hands and grab a moment, force it to hold still for the reveling.

But slippery fish time always jumps free.

And I am too often distracted.

When did my son stop needing my monster-banishing?

When did the other one start to read the cereal boxes?

Blink.

Blink and I’ve missed it.

Another moment.

String them together and you get a life.

How do I cherish each one, appreciate them as they whiz by?

(Without the unstringing.)

Pictures help.

Time frozen.

Moments available for memory, reverie.

But so does living, consciously, in these moments.

Being fully present. (Or trying.)

Try not to worry too much about what is being missed.

Reach out your hand.

Leave it open.

Watch a fluffy dandelion seed alight upon your fingertips.

Marvel at its beauty.

Until the next puffy breeze blows it further yon.

Place an arm around each of my sons.

Embarrass them thoroughly (well, the one who can be embarrassed) by pointing out the happy gurgling baby and remind them they were just like that once.

And me, the dreamy smiling mother.

Not so long ago.

And yet, a lifetime.

Theirs.

Strands of luminous moments I wear, like pearls around my neck, entwined through my heart.

Blink.

What you catch, what you miss.

It’s haphazard.

But that’s alright.

It’s life.

Theirs.

Mine.

Ours, together.

And, someday, (if I’ve done my job right) apart.

As they waft on the breeze.

Yon.

Blink.


Varda wries about Autism parenting, eldercare, grief, ADD, parenting in general, and tells stories from her wild and varied past on her blog, The Squashed Bologna: a slice of life in the sandwich generation.

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