we were sitting down for dinner tonight, and zoë started grooving to the music we were listening to. i wish i could keep a camera trained on her all the time, because she’s so quickly losing the toddler/baby aspects of everything she says and does. the pages of her life’s book are about to turn to “child” and honestly, i’m a little sad. when she says “breakfast” instead of “breksis” and “popsicle” instead of “popsikissle,” i see this march of time, inevitably pushing us into the future, while i internally identify with the last line of The Great Gatsby.
When Fitzgerald writes “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” i see myself there. i’ve blogged about this in the past, this inability of mine to live wholly in the present, and to have such a hard time looking to the future. it’s hardest when i see zoë changing. she’s becoming so articulate, and we see this native intelligence and sense of humor really shining out of her. i’m not the first parent to wish their child was still small, and i know i won’t be the last. i also know this is part of the great adventure of parenting, to see the change; to embrace it, even as i fear it.
she’s our harvest moon, lighting up everything she looks on, while her colors seem to change in an instant. she’s the surprise peeking through the clouds; when my tests seem overwhelming or the papers too long to write, she’s there with a brightness that makes it all fade. the question that we have to continually answer as parents is one of how to guide and lead someone as flighty and lively as zoë. how do you solve a problem like maria? she’s a cloud, a wave on the sand, and everything we love because it’s fleeting. she can’t stand still, and i wouldn’t have it any other way…
i don’t often get a chance to explain these really ephemeral thoughts on parenting, but i’m always thinking about her, and our life, and who we are all becoming. i don’t want any of us to lose the parts of our selves that are essential, even as we all change and grow. so even if there are things lost, i’m hoping the things kept and gained are more substantial.