August 17, 2006

Then & Now

Staying true to my recent trend of "time flies" I came across some pictures that compelled me to find their present-day mates. In other words, then and now. Here are some pictures of me and my younger siblings, Dustin and Ashley. It doesn't even seem that long ago that these were taken, but then again, if feels like ages. I look at these pictures and say to myself, "where did the babies go?" "how did they grow up so fast", "why can't they stay little forever". I know this sounds motherly of me, but you have to understand, these were my babies. My Mom had them later in life, but while I still lived at home. My brother was born when I was ten and my sister when I was fifteen. We're all from the same parents. I don’t think I even have to tell you that I loved (and still love) these kids so much. It was a wonderful time for our family, and a period we all look back on as the happiest of our family life. I do regret that there is one sibling missing from these photos, and it’s only because I couldn’t seem to find one. It’s our older brother, Brian, who was three years older than I was. He was 18 when Ashley was born!

Time just plays tricks on us. It convinces us that we have unlimited use of it, and then we blink and it’s long gone – carrying with it our good times, our bad times, and unfortunately the best of times. Looking at old pictures for some is a step into a past they want to forget. For me, and I know for my family, it is a journey back to a sweet time when all was good and right and we were all together under one roof. Joking and laughing at the dinner table, birthday parties, family get-togethers, listening to my Dad chuckle at Johnny Carson from the other room…

Sometimes I stop and think “man, I miss my life…where is it going in such a hurry?” I even look at pictures of my husband and I from when we were dating and love was young and new and exciting and I think, “where did the time go?”

The biggest problem with time, is that so often we want it to speed up to accommodate our needs or desires, and in doing so, I think we miss something vital. What’s happening now is passing quickly. With your family, your friends, your spouse, your children, even your pets. Time is passing and quickly and quietly, and like a thief in the night, will be gone with the memories of it before you can blink. Case in point: the pictures I have posted here.

Meanwhile, here they are now. All grown up, and beautiful and wonderful...and (sniffle) grown up. Oops, I already said that. I can't help it. They grew up so fast and now Dustin is 22 and lives on his own, has a wonderful woman in his life, and just got his own dog. (That's too grown up...I can hardly take it!) Ashley is now 17 and a Senior in High school and it makes me nauseous when I think of attending her graduation. I can't. That will mean that the last of my siblings have entered adulthood and we are no longer "kids". All on par with one another - all grownups facing the world in the same way. It's simply been a fact that I have been a sort of "mini-mother" to them, and now, after all these years, it's time to be a sister. (Oh boo hoo) It's so hard to wave goodbye to the past sometimes. It's sureal how fast time flies by, and we usually have little ability in the moment to realize or appreciate what is leaving with it. Little shoes, macaroni necklaces, finger paintings on the fridge, spontaneous talent shows in the living room, big-wheels, dolls, toy trucks, cute phrases that only they can get away with, and small hands holding on. Or even a kiss from your spouse, a hug in the morning before leaving for work, or a back rub. Small passages of exchange that on the whole we just let go by without notice, but collectively these little things become our life and our eventually our past.

I hope we can all learn to take a moment to savor the memories that we are making daily: to hug your babies a little tighter – and appreciate how small they are in this moment, to kiss your hubby or wife and tell them you’re so glad they’re in your life, and to call a sibling, a mother, a father, grandparent, and say that you love them yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Here’s to all the memories and the ones to be made and cherished starting now…

1 comment :

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