If I Could Freeze Time

My cousin has a nine month old baby. This is a novelty because my sister and I finished producing children over a decade ago. It's nice having a little person around. She's cute and I think she might have made an excruciating family gathering slightly less painful. 

My dad is one of those "they grow up too fast" people. "Wouldn't you just want to freeze time when they're that age?" he said to me wistfully. 

"Nine months? Seriously?"

"Yeah. She's so little and sweet."

"No way," I said. "She's not potty trained. Maybe freeze her when she's four."

This isn't the first time I've talked with my dad about the passage of time. I agree with him now that in a lot of ways it goes too fast. But I'm not in favor of stopping at any point. 

This was a bit of a scary issue for me in the beginning. It became apparent pretty early on that we were only going to have one child. Every time our baby did something for the last time it was truly our LAST TIME: the last bottle I gave her on the night before her first birthday, her last tricycle ride, the last time I picked her up and carried her anywhere.

There's no other kid to benefit from our experiences. It's over.

This may have been the last time we both fit in a tire swing.

I thought this might make me more nostalgic as the years ticked by. "You're going to miss this," I used to tell myself as I walked her back to bed for the seventeenth time on the hundredth night after switching her into a toddler bed. "Someday you'll want nothing more than one more hug from those little arms."

Because that's what my dad says and most of the world seems to agree with him. 

And yet, I don't miss any of those bygone phases. Each one was wonderful and terrible. I was there and each day I squeezed every drop out of our life together. From six months on, I thoroughly enjoyed being her mom. 

Last week, I passed my daughter an iPad and asked if she wanted to read the first couple of posts I'd written since restarting my blog. I listened to her laugh at the funny parts of stories I'd already told her. 

"You're a good writer, Mom," she told me. 

She never said that to me when she was four.

Time marches on bringing amazing and awful things just like it always does. I wouldn't stop it if I could. 

5 comments:

  1. I love this!

    I was thinking about this very topic last week while sitting at my nephew's 6th grade graduation. When he was four, I told him to stop growing up. He said, "I will when I'm 5." Ever since, I find times to bring up that promise, teasing him about how he broke it. He just shrugs and says he can't help it. And yet, as much as I loved when he was 4, he was also great at 5. And 6. And now he's turning 12 next month and I can't have conversations with him that I couldn't just a couple of years ago. Every age is fun. I guess I just wish it took a tiny bit longer to get to the next one.

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    1. It would be nice if you could slow down the good parts of each phase. At least we'll always have the memories!

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  2. I agree. Every stage of my boys' lives has been interesting and fun (when not terrifying and painful). I wouldn't want to stop anywhere on the way.

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  3. Awwwwwwwwwwww, how I love this post!! Every word, I soaked blissfully in your 'nostalgic' thoughts. And I have to agree with it all.

    I am a grandmother, had two children of my own, and my youngest grandson just got married this past month. I wouldn't go back in time, I wouldn't freeze time, I all too much enjoy the memories I make for the DAY

    You said it all...perfectly.

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  4. Ahhhhh the freezing time question is a good one. I don't know if I would want to freeze time but I think I would like to really "feel" the moments. I was one of those people who wanted a lot of kids and a kind husband to go through time with. Somehow, it did not work out the way I had planned. So my daughter is my bright light that I just cherish every moment with her. My grandma used to say that once you hit 40 time seems to pass even faster. I had no idea what she meant until now. Time does have a way of absolutely flying by!!! I have not yet figured out how to actually sit in each moment and make them last a bit longer. Anyway, perhaps the freezing thing might not be the answer but figuring out how to hang on a bit more would be nice. Hope all is well! :-)

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