By: The Queen Father
It seems only yesterday that we were a childless couple and now, in an instant, our baby is already two years old…
How many things have changed.
How we’ve changed!
Within two years I went from my gym-bunny status to a reality which sees me overweight, perpetually tired-eyed, and sleep deprived.
There’s no escaping the fact that ‘parenting’ has some effect on the body and psyche of an individual.
My cousin says that at least I do not have to deal with stretch marks, knee-length tits, and vaginal dryness, but I suppose I have my decent package of complications.
To make matters worse, time tic-tocs away, inexorably feeding our helplessness. So we shoot ourselves in the foot and, in the vain attempt to stop everything, we start storing every little thing that gives us the illusion that things are still present and not past.
It’s all well and good to put away the baby’s first pair of shoes, but the whole 10 pairs in their boxes, some never even worn, it seems somewhat excessive.
It’s good to choose the cutest outfits that do not fit anymore, or maybe the most expensive ones and put them away as a cute memento, but to end up with 8 boxes of stuff, neatly ironed and folded ‘to remember’, it sounds like the product of a sick mind.
It’s also good to keep one or two of his ‘first ever’ bibs, the ones he first wore when he was born, but to keep a whole box of bibs, bottles, and plastic spoons of various sizes for memory’s sake, sounds to me like psychosis.
And yet I find myself just in this position: crushed between the goddam need to make room and the fear of losing memories or forgetting feelings.
Gabriel’s first solid meal!
That same orange goo that splattered all over his white Ralph Lauren romper suit, which I still keep, stains and all.
It reminds me of not only my puppy at six months, but also myself, the fatigue, and the joy of getting up three times a night and end up falling asleep on the couch with him in my arms.
I really cherish all those stains … They remind me that the past was real.
It’s been a while ago, but it’s really been.
There are parts of me that I want to keep, because I think I became a better person since becoming a dad.
When the day beats me up, those stains are just there to remind me who I really am.
You say: “But your son should remind you of so many beautiful things even more than a box full of old clothes!”
You’re right, but those ‘old clothes’ have a quality of stillness and quiet that my son at two years of age does not possess.
He is not in this world for the past… He lives in the NOW, actually, in the RIGHT NOW! So many times I’d like to stop a little and look back at what we had and what we did, but with him it’s a long fast run toward the future.
He constantly changes; every morning he looks taller, bigger, he runs faster every day, many new words come out of his mouth as if from nowhere.
I am in constant awe of his progresses and of his development that I find myself thinking “My God! When was the last time I closed my eyes and remembered seeing him coming out of our surrogate’s belly?”
There is no time to reminisce, only time to grow.
Funny thing, childhood. It lasts a second, you can’t wait to grow up only to spend the rest of your life secretly wishing you could go back, just for one day…
And those old clothes, in their silence, are the relics of a past that is still there, that I can touch and smell. They give me all the time I need to savor again every past moment.
You know, perhaps I am greedy, but the memories that we carry in our hearts sometimes are simply not enough.
Perhaps our hearts are not bottomless. Perhaps there is only a certain amount of storage we can keep inside without forgetting.
Perhaps it’s just my heart that needs a memory upgrade…
That’s why I choose to keep mine in boxes, maybe only until I’ve had the chance to ‘upload’ everything.
[Photo Credit: smoorenburg]