in retrospect…

I found our old “film” camera a couple of months ago and I took the last few shots on it.  Neither Kim nor I could remember what pictures were on the camera but I decided to get the film processed and see what surprises awaited.  I finally got around to getting the pictures picked up and it amazed me the memories locked in that cannister. 

Most of the photos were over 3 years old.  They began as Riley’s 4th birthday party.  There were a few of Christmas.  And then a couple of Casey as a baby.  It was so amazing to go back in time.  I gushed with happiness.  I stood there in the line at Target and weeped at the photos of Riley when he was 4.  His hair was so curly and vibrant.  His smile was so carefree.  His activity was just part of him at that time.  There was no diagnosis.  And in retrospect, the activity doesn’t seem to have been so bad. 

Sometime between then and now, Riley took on the anxieties of the world.  But then…he was carefree.  He was everything rockstars.  He was guitars and drums.  He was so patient with me being tired as I was pregnant with Casey.  He gave me back massages with his little 4 year old hands.  And foot massages too.  And he couldn’t wait to be a big brother.  This time is past.  And I look back on it so fondly.  But I know myself well enough to know that I probably didn’t enjoy every smile as much as I should have.  I probably complained about the pregnancy symptoms too much.  And I know I was tired, and unsatisfied in my job.  I know all that on some REASONABLE level.  But when I look at the pictures I feel so sad that I didn’t fully love this time.  Because the pictures remind me of how amazing it really was.  I truly don’t know how to live happily in the moment.  I’m only happy it seems in retrospect.  So I share with you some happiness from 2005/2006. 

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Can you see that he is making guitar cookies?

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He still allowed himself to LOVE the color pink.

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And his presence lit up the room.

So that I don’t get in trouble for favoritism, I am attaching the only photo of Casey in that whole roll.  He was 3 months old.  And just chillin’.

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Our daily life is so “managed.”  We have to keep it all planned and organized or we fall behind.  Our life is so much managing the details that I often don’t find the beauty in the day to day.  In so many ways, I feel like I am marking time until the dissertation is written, until we move.  I’m afraid to become close friends with anyone because I will just have to start all over again.  And I am tired of starting all over again.  But I also worry about my boys being raised here in this stifling homophobic culture.  Will I only be able to look at myself and my family during this time – from some later date- in order to be happy? 

I know this about myself and yet I can’t seem to be (in any sustainable or long term way)  happy in the present.

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8 Responses to “in retrospect…”

  1. Carrie Says:

    That was a very melancholy post for such cute pictures.
    p.s. In whose kitchen was Riley making the guitar cookies?

  2. Ruth Says:

    He’s at Grandma Gorgeous’ house making the cookies – with her. He loved making cookies iwth her.

  3. Kelly Says:

    i love you ruth… and i know how the retrospective thing feels… but each day i HAVE to find something good, and happy… and even if it is simply hearing malachi tell me that he loves me, or hearing him genuinely laugh when i make him “snug as a bug in a rug” at bedtime… the diagnosis doesnt have to be a bad thing… it just gives us a bunch of tools to help make these little guys the best that they can be… its frustrating for us, but imagine how it is for them… know that i am here… in whatever form you need me to be…

  4. Doug Says:

    you will go through it again w/ grandkids its called growing up /old all you can do is love them (( you can’t go back ))

  5. the other Says:

    I love you

  6. Carrie Says:

    Now that you are employed, are we only going to get weekend posts?

  7. J-Kay Says:

    FYI – Crying now. People always told me how similar we are…I held tight to disbelief (basically because I’m never wrong). But you know what? Maybe they are right.

  8. Judith Says:

    Abrazos to you

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