Thursday, March 3, 2016

Stuff Happens. Remember it Fondly.

It happened once again the other day.  With little fanfare.  And why should it have any, I thought to myself afterwards.  It was just stuff.

Stuff that served a very important purpose, yes.  But just stuff.

What happened was that while Mrs. LIAYF was loading up our backpack - the one we take along when we travel outside the home with our kids - she had a small epiphany and pulled out several items that had been crammed down there for months, and had not been used for some weeks now.

This stuff just happened to be diapers and cream, wipes, and extra clothes.  All the necessities of going outside the home with a child who hasn't yet learned the art of holding it in.  But we were (are) now there with Annabelle.  Once she made her transition it was seamless, and she has not looked back.

It seems a fairly regular occurrence that we grow out of one thing or another that facilitated our kids nurturing.

To reiterate, I had absolutely no problem with dispensing of these items, so didn't object.  As I mentioned, it had  no fanfare at the time, save for a sigh of relief at not having to pack the extra bulk around on my back.

But the idea of this moment, the significance of it, has stuck with me for several days now.

This transition, albeit small, told a story about the development of our daughter and the stage she has now reached at the ripe old age of this many (three fingers).  She is certainly not a baby anymore. Heck, she is not even a toddler anymore.

This was another sign that she is a little girl.   A sweet, sassy, funny, loving little girl.  But certainly not too little..

And, oddly, at this stage of my own life, this seems to have happened in an instant.

Although no, I won't soon forget all those messy diapers, late night feedings, bottles prepared, and transitions (from sitting to crawling, then standing and walking, now climbing), it has all still become somewhat blurred into an instant for me as I look back.

Like *poof* I have a lovely little girl.  It's amazing.

But I don't want to forget. So, I want to hold onto those memories.  Not only the memories of those true milestone events, but also the seemingly insignificant passing of stuff. Such as what we rid ourselves of by emptying out a simple backpack.

Those items,  the insignificant necessities of raising a little person, seem to flow by me in time as if I were a polished boulder, forged eons ago, and sitting in the middle of the rambling stream that represents their childhood.

Why should I want to hold onto these pictures in my head?  Aren't they just ancillary to the more important events that implant themselves into my long term happy memories?

I guess it's because of the amount of blood, sweat, tears, and other bodily fluids ( for lack of better terminology) that accompanied each of these.  They are all a part of the experience of raising our children.

Touch and hold any one of these items before it goes.  Think about how you used it, and for what.  As if a brush, It will trigger images of the real art you put onto the canvas that is raising your children.  Your masterpieces.

Perhaps I am being too melodramatic here.  After all it's just stuff.  But, as I pondered moving on from those items that afternoon, I did flash back, if only for a moment, to remember the reasons they were there.  The times I changed our daughter in a restaurant, or on a blanket outside at a park.  There were certainly some less than ideal outcomes.

And remembered in those instances happy times.  Happy, not because I was doing something unpleasant, but because I was there for her, doing my job.

Being a parent.

Her Dad.


ihopeiwinatoaster said...

Thanks for this Luke's Dad. I encounter these "endings" with the same melancholy. It's like time forgets we need to savor things. Peace to you, this is a great post, well-written and meaningful - there's not enough that these days.

Larry said...

I just wrote about a transition as well. I think every parent blogger does this on a semi-regular basis.
I think the reasons we do so are because of what you noted above. The mixture of joy and sadness is real and felt by all.