Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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.