This summer was different from those in the recent past. I think a couple factors let me categorize this as one of the best ever. First, I am not pregnant and I am not the mother of a baby or a toddler. This very significant fact is bittersweet. Time. It doesn’t stop. Everybody keeps growing bigger and I just picked up my niece who is now a freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was the flower girl at our wedding!! For the past 11 summers, I have been either pregnant, nursing or the mother of a baby or a toddler. Times are a changin’ and sometimes it is not all sad. My baby is only 3.5 years old, but there are no more poopy diapers, no more middle of the night nursings, no more hiking backpacks, pack n’ plays, inconsolable car seat crying and the list continues.
I embrace the change of no longer reproducing or nurturing a tiny little beastie. They can walk across the river and hike up a trail and ask for a snack.The can make good decisions without my input.The can follow through with these decisions and learn about the world (and how cold a Colorado river can be – even in summer).
They can come together with kids they have only met a few times and play ghost in the grave yard and Lord of the Flies. (They have not read it or seen the movie, but somehow they know).They can make an afternoon out of a downtown fountain while we sit and have a beer and watch. This is so fantastic.They can do all these self sufficient things and contribute intelligent input to a conversation that makes me think about my perspective in a new and different way.
Every now and then we have to stop what we are doing and walk somebody to the bathroom. It was our last camping trip this summer and we spent it in Aspen. We took them to see One Republic and lived to tell about it. As parents we actually relaxed a little and sat down while they climbed up rocks and entertained themselves. We slept well at night and enjoyed our last moments of this beautiful summer.
As the days get shorter, the air crisper and the focus changes to a different kind of fun, I am reminded that babies never stay tiny, chicks quickly transform into hens and that everything is temporary. I will persistently take pictures and write in this space and try to capture the moments that are far too fleeting. It’s not that I don’t want things to change because finally sitting down and relaxing after 11 years of procreating and nurturing is kind of nice. We make them so we can watch them grow and learn and celebrate life’s milestones. It would be silly to wish for time to stop. If we could make it stop the moments would be way less profound. I will look back on our photos and my writing and remember the smell of my new born babies and all of the firsts, the middles and phases of life. Someday soon Darren and I will have too much time on our hands to relax, so for now I will try to savor my afternoons of enjoying a beer with friends while I watch them play knowing that all too soon that moment will transform into a need a or a want with the catalyst of this transformation being the word “Mom!” sung through the air by one of my beautiful offspring. Happy almost Fall!