Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dear Babies,

Your Aunt Krissy and I were discussing serious business last night, should she buy you your birthday t-shirts from Chasing Fireflies and I get you the pajamas? Or vice versa?

It’s your second birthday in a few weeks and plans are in the works. What to get you. What time is everyone coming. What should you wear for your party. And of course, what are we going to eat.

“Are you excited?” Aunt Krissy asked about you guys turning two.

I paused. Hemmed and hawed. “Um, well, no, not really…”

Her silence coaxed me to explain.

“…I don’t want to it be here, because once it gets here, it all goes by so fast…” And I meant “it” as a lot of things. You guys growing older and also, this time of year. By now I’ve told you on a daily basis how much I love fall. “Look! The fallen leaves!” I’ve been quoted in Newsday not once but twice for my attendance at festivals, once at the Grande Festa Italiana with you, Baby Boy, and last weekend at the Oyster Bay Oyster Festival with Baby Girl. It’s safe to say now I am a festival connoisseur. I should start a new blog of all of my grandiose soundbites. “Italian heritage is so important to me!” “The tall ships are beautiful!” Your father says Newsday must have a picture of me up in their office–“need a quote at a hokey festival no one cares about? Look for this woman! She’ll be there and will happily gush while eating corn on the cob!” (Or maybe a soft pretzel.) I told him he’s just jealous of my newfound festival fame…

As quickly as this all comes, it all goes…

Once it’s November, then it’s Holidays, and it snowballs and snowballs and there are all of these plans–and the shopping! and eating! And family drama! And come on, we have to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” before the end of the season, we must! And we complain like brats about all of this “craziness” and long for a weekend with nothing to do–and then, we find ourselves in the middle of January, pale as heck, with nothing to do. And we go oh this stinks.

I have a tradition for your birthday where I make an album of pictures from throughout the past year, November to November. I call it “When I Was {Age}, It was a Very Good Year.” So far, I haven’t screwed this up! What? What’s that you say? Oh, true, so far I’ve only had to make one album. But so far, so good.

Last night I was up to one in the morning working on your second year album.

“Must you do this now?” your dad said, kissing me goodnight on the head at eleven, after watching the debates, them going up to bed.

“Yeah, I want to get this done.” What I should have said was, I have a coupon for photo books from Shutterfly that expires on Thursday, I gotta strike while the iron is hot.

Hovered over my laptop, I flipped through iphoto and opened up the vault from this past year.

Everything felt like it just happened yesterday.

Everything.

“Oh, I have to include this one, this was the first haircuts! And the shoes! Here’s where Nana and I bought them their first real shoes! My god, remember when they didn’t wear shoes? They didn’t walk? Crazy…”

Someone recently asked me again, “what did you do in the beginning, when they were newborns, you must never have slept…”

And I told the same lie, the same amnesia-induced lie that erases memories of childbirth and infant care in order to preserve the continuation of the species, “nah! It wasn’t so bad!”

As much as I don’t remember about the beginning, memories of the past year are with me, dangling behind me like a string of tin cans tied to a car in an old fashioned romance movie.

Because now I know. I know how fast it all goes.

I look at this picture from April of you, Baby Girl, with all of these dandelion wisps caught in your hair. I was teaching you guys how to blow on them and make a wish, and I when we blew the wind came in the opposite direction, and sprinkled them all in your hair. In the picture they sparkle silver. You look like a fairy.

I click and drag that picture, add it to the album. The dandelions, a must.

And the moment sticks with me, caught like the wisps in your hair.

Love,

Mom

2 thoughts on “Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  1. tincanstilts says:

    I really feel this. I read A.A. Milne’s Now We Are Six to my daughter on the eve of her seventh birthday (gasp!) and we both sobbed through it, wishing it would all slow down, perhaps. Lovely piece!

    • amydenby says:

      Thanks, Beth. And with their ages going by at warp speed, so is mine…In my fancy new role as “festival goer,” both times the reporters’ question of my age has tripped me up. “Thirty-three, no, YES! Thirty-three. Sorry, saying it aloud feels very strange!” (They must love my quotes, not so much my fact-checking reliability.)

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