Sunshine In Retrospect
Each day goes by faster than the last, and so it is with the years. We are thrusted forward through time, experiencing the moments that shape us into who we have and will become, and yet how easily forgotten they are! These beautiful mental snapshots fade as new difficulties prioritize themselves. I am sure that time
has never flown as it does for me now, and I, as humans do through all the frustration and added stress brought on by a challenge almost too immense, will learn to dip and sway to the rhythm of the second hand until it resembles a kung-fu like dance.
I've found there are two ways we experience this phenomenon; the flying of time. One, proverbially, is having fun. You remember: the evenings on the playground as a child, when you knew the streetlights would turn on at any moment and you wished the sun would stay up just a little longer so you could keep playing, as if there wasn’t enough time in the day. The second way we experience the hurrying of time is when we are immersed in that familiar rush to beat the clock. The attitude you take on when you have too much work to do and you’re hoping you can finish those last few paragraphs before the sun comes up, before time runs out, because truly, there is never enough time. This latter mindset is much less enjoyable. We check and race against 12 numbers that track the sun’s visible passage across the sky, and we scribble plans next to numbers that represent how many times that passage happens. We are so far disconnected from what it means to be flying through space, and we’ve seemingly forgotten that we have no way of having any real perspective of where we actually are in space-time.
And so it is through both of these filters I am currently experiencing life. Sometimes it is the first (all play), sometimes the second (all work), and sometimes a strange yet satisfying blend of the two. I want the best for this young boy, but I acknowledge that one can’t put the oxygen mask on another without first securing their own.
Our little animal is soaring through his ninth month on earth. He continues to do new things each day. He tries to walk, squeaking and screaming with excitement as he does so. He likes to drink water from cups, and then let it dribble down his chin with a gargle and a smile. We still play the same game pulling letters off the fridge. Now he can actually grab them in his fingers and throw them to the floor with purpose rather than just swatting at them like he used to. While his vocabulary is still rich with words that use only consonants, he is now blending consonant and vowel sounds. Dada, blahmba, gah glah. Oh, and "k". Just "k". Sometimes elongated, like the sound of velcro (?), as if he's exhaling but the back of his tongue won't get out of the way. He is all consuming of our time, energy, and our love.
I find myself making bold proclamations to better myself, inspired by my new role. I want to show him karate, so I need to learn karate. I want to teach him about astrobiology. So I need to learn about astrobiology. And so on. But I've got to remember: oxygen masks first.
When Mama leaves to go to work, or anywhere more than down the street to Honey and Papa’s, Daddy and Roland are emotional. Her presence is truly appreciated when her absence is so clearly evident. The young one and I bond rapidly when she goes, so I cherish the time. He trusts me. He falls asleep in my arms easily now (knock on wood), clutching my hair or the front of my shirt in his fist like some kind of tiny, sleeping bully. A bully who’s unafraid to let you know that all he needs is loving.
I found a piece of paper in my wallet. Unfolded, it says in my scribble: SUNSHINE IN RETROSPECT. Nobody said it would be easy, and it isn't. There is a strange blissfulness going on inside of me and I am all too aware of my inability to fully grasp it. Frustration gets the best of me sometimes, as it does to us all, but I know I will look back on these days as if the sun had never shone brighter. Hindsight is 20-20. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Those were the good old days. It’s a strange thing to be able to say, but it is important to say it: These are the good times. These are the golden years that will never be replaced. Photos and blog entries will do me well to remember, but in the end it is the prayers and the songs that I sing to my boy, the ones that my dad sang to me- it is through humility and innocence, patience and forgiveness that we will be granted wisdom enough to appreciate all that we have.