And yet... I had to shake my head at seeing the changes of a year morph out on small faces. Those faces mark the year indelibly. Those faces shift and shape into different people in a year. It is bittersweet and must cause many a mother to swell inside with that potent mixture of tender remembrance and vague longing. All the cliches are true. We cannot help but say them and cannot help but live them. Excuse me while I wax cliche-ish...
We cheer and smile at every marker of growth, and thrill at their delight. They all think they're "almost as tall as Mommy!" And the days go by, the changes come, we roll forward to the next big thing in their small lives.
And yet... in the secret heart of every mother is a wish. A wish to freeze that one tiny moment, that one favorite stage, that one cherished achievement, that one sweetest cheek. Sometimes we see them as they happen, those moments. Other times it's in restrospect that we breathe in and hold that memory, colored with the faint tinge of regret at its loss.
It seems that's the way of children. We push them to grow and pull them to stay, never quite sure which part is better. And this is the way of parents, to realize this paradox in turn, this knowledge that cannot be given, only shared. So we share a moment, at the tip of the 2009 tail, and I'm glad to set aside the silly and savor the sentimental.
(The silly will be coming right back at me, 'ere I leave this desk. :))
In my mother's book of skills I note that this year brought Phoenix from the art of the pincer grasp to the magic of the spoken word. This year brought Jadyn the art of detailed coloring in the lines, with a fine, skilled touch. This year brought Isabella the art of writing her letters anywhere and everywhere in assorted sequence. And this year brought Cole the art of multiplication and long division. Lifelong skills each, necessary for progress along the stepping stones.
The past year's babies:
Mr. Ham Sandwich delights in rabbit-earing anything that doesn't move.
Hats are always fashionable when carrying a blaster and a guitar.
Chasing those first Cheerios around the tray, Phoenix at 7 months.
Good night girls and good night boys. Good night toys. Good night babies you have been. Good night world on which you spin.