Time is flying by lately. It’s whizzing, really, and it’s taken my breath away on several occasions. There’s so much to do, so much undone at the end of each day, and I find myself struggling to fit everything in as effortlessly as I used to. I’ve shifted somehow. I’ve changed. Rearranged. I’m currently lost in the revelry of my daughters. Their joy, their wonder, their singing and longing and curiosities. I’ve immersed myself in them and it’s been wonderful. But time flits by ever so swiftly still, and I find myself filled with a joyful sorrow; these moments, the little things that pass by without much ado, years from now they will be the big things. Every ounce of mundane – of minutia – will be a weighted trap of memory, of reminiscence. Bittersweet longing. Someday I’ll look back on today and I know it won’t be the dishes in the sink at bedtime that I miss. It won’t be the laundry on the living room floor, or the blogging left undone. It’ll be everything else. I’ll look back on today, squinting as I try to recall the way the girls sounded as they laughed and sang and fought over My Little Ponies and new slippers. I’ll lurch towards them with hands outstretched, grasping, but falling short. I’ll fail. The memories will be mere echoes. Ghosts. Frosted panes of poorly etched glass, eroded quietly by a thousand sunsets and rainstorms.
But everything I photograph, everything I write down will be a lighthouse in the fog of time, the ocean of forgetting. It will be an anchor to all that matters from the past. That matters right now. It will bring me back to the years that will suddenly feel lost. Distant. Aching.
This is exactly why I need to write more. Take more photographs. Immerse myself ever deeper and allow the dishes to pile and the laundry to wrinkle. This is why I’m here.
It’s not about never forgetting.
It’s about making a way to remember.
I’m building a beacon.
Because I want to remember that Stella can perfectly imitate a southern accent. That Elena wants to wear glasses and worries that she’s not pretty. That Stella has started rubbing her ear when she sucks her thumb and she reminds me of Prince John from Disney’s Robin Hood. That Elena complains about this boy, Albert, who always talks to her during quiet time at school, and that she has a boyfriend already but she’s not going to marry him so I shouldn’t worry. That Stella loves to swim and sing and started dancing tonight at Target next to the yogurt. That Elena and Stella met Santa for the first time this year and loved it. That they still sleep together in the same bed so they can snuggle. That Stella will come up to me, completely unsolicited, and give me a giant hug and run off. That Elena wants to be next to me, no matter what I’m doing, because it’s cool to hang with Mom.
That this thing called motherhood is the hardest and most daunting and scary and wonderful and perfect and beautiful thing I’ve ever done with my life and I’m terrified of failing at it every. single. day. And that somehow I think I’m equally afraid that I’m doing it exactly right and it’s supposed to be this cruel and magnificent and difficult and uncertain and infuriating and delightful.
And I want to remember that my baby girl is about to turn four. FOUR. I’m not ready for her grow up. I’m just not. I want to hold on like hell to right now.
And I don’t want to ever let go.