Memory

elias, 2009. the day we moved into our first house.

Photos like the one above always make me feel sad. I am the type of person who constantly likes to keep moving, evolving, achieving, but I’m also a wreck for nostalgia. Moving is intensely emotional for me because even if I really despise the place I’m living and I am making a major upgrade to a new space, the knowledge that I will never again step foot inside the door of a space I once called home is deeply troubling and a sentimentalist nightmare. I hate the idea that once we move on we can’t go back, it’s the most profoundly depressing aspects of life.

My first memory. I was laying in a crib, and there is the general sense of yellow in the room. Maybe it’s my blanket, or sunlight, it comes from my right and up over the ceiling. I can hear someone to my left, outside the door, in the kitchen. I do not cry, but this person comes in and talks to me and lays me down in my crib. I stare up at the ceiling, a mobile, I look out the crib slats. I’m not tired, and I cry out again. That’s it.

My second memory. I’m in a playpen on the floor in the kitchen. My mom is scrubbing kitchen tile and a breeze is moving the curtains over the sink.

My third memory. Sitting in the front seat of my dad’s Volkswagon pickup truck, which smells like surfboard wax; citrus and vanilla and sunblock. The seats are cool, fake leather, tiny ventilation holes that I stare into and pick at with a tiny finger.

and so on.

My point is that my own kids are forming these same memories, and I’m kind or paranoid about that. My own life as an only child was so calm, there was so much time for family vacations and trips to the beach (daily!). My kids spend an awful lot of time going crazy in the house while we do laundry, is all I’m saying. My kids spend a lot of time with their brothers, too, which is a special kind of rewarding. I think.

I was just looking at photos of Elias from when he was Rainer’s age, and Owen when he was Eliases age, and it made me feel so sad. Before we blink our babies will be grown. Ryan and I will be so well-rested yet so desperate, I imagine, for those 3am requests for our presence. I feel so much heartache for how much I am inclined to complain about the chaos of my present, knowing that my future is just a split second away, and it does not include kids who want to sleep in my bed or be carried around the house.

Maybe this post is weird, but I was just all of a sudden really affected by all those older women in Hobby Lobby who tell me with regretful longing, “It goes by so fast. Hug them tight.”

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