We recently went to a party and I naturally talked about Colin the entire time we were there to anyone who even glanced in my direction. At one point, I was musing about how Colin is changing so fast and that I don’t want to blink in case I miss something. My friend took the opportunity to divulge his theory that the passage of time is not a constant, but moves at different speeds depending on where you are in life. It moves slowly and meaningfully for Colin because he is still so new; his seconds are much longer relative to his life span than my seconds are relative to mine. Time passes more quickly for me because I have been alive for more moments, so each moment seems shorter. And this arrangement just gets more dramatic as we all get older. Life goes faster and faster every day.
Luckily, I had already had a good bit to drink, otherwise this would have made no sense. In fact, as I type it now, I don’t totally remember why I thought it was so profound. Still, my friend’s heady, overly dramatic theory resonated with me and I felt humbled and a little nervous. It boils down to this simple and common sentiment: Time flies. No need to remind me of this, friend. I think about it all the time.
Colin is a totally different kid than he was last month. He remians the same sweet, perfect little guy, and I still nibble his cheeks every morning and night, but he is growing up, so clearly, right in front of me. Over the past few weeks, he has become quite vocal (I can’t imagine where he gets that from) and is constantly babbling about something or singing to his toys. He is newly interested in people and conversations. He is truly a Roll-n-Scooch pro. The types of toys that he likes have changed from small, soft, and stuffed to noisy, bright, and chewable, and he passes those toys back and forth between his hands with ease. (Milestone: check!) He finds food especially fascinating, and it is not at all unlikely that he will throw himself face first into your coffee or spaghetti with (veggie!) meatballs. Though he still seems to like pureed sweet potatoes and pears, I doubt that he would object to a big steak. Just like his dad, this one.
Over the weekend, Colin figured out how to prop himself up on all fours. His aunts, who clearly do not live with him and thus will not have to face the consequences of their actions, were pushing on his feet, trying to teach him to shove off and crawl. He is so close and I am rather terrified, especially with the current state of our house. Boxes, tape, string, markers, and box cutters, not to mention everything that goes in the boxes, are strewn about every room. There is a path carved out of the chaos, but it is a treacherous one. It has been almost two weeks since we ran a vacuum, owing to the sheer volume of stuff everywhere and it is seriously taking years off my life. Being in this house makes my eye twitch and I can’t wait until we are at least “staged” and especially moved into our new place (wherever that may be). Until that time, Colin will not be allowed on the floor for fear that he will suddenly figure out how to crawl and unearth the paring knife we’ve been missing for the last two years.
There is obviously no way for Colin to understand what is happening or how dramatically life is changing for his parents. His routine has stayed the same, his room is – for now – unchanged. There are more people around, but they are all people who love him and snuggle him and think he hung the moon, so that is okay with him. But this time is rife with change for our family, our days full of endings and beginnings, of alternating and sometimes simultaneous joy and sadness, always tempered by lots of stress. While Colin is presently unaware of the new direction we are taking, his life will be necessarily and irrevocably altered because of it. Moving will put us close to arts, museums, parks, fresh produce delivery, and Trader Joe’s. Instead of growing up in relative isolation, he will be surrounded by his family. Though he is Wildcat-born, he will be raised in Hoosier country. His father and I will go back to work (our real work) and we will be tired and stressed, but intellectually satisfied. Our living space will be smaller, but Colin will be able to walk to a friend’s house and hang out in the yard, maybe even play in the street. All good things. I hope.
I have such high expectations for this move and this new life. Every moment I spend with Colin convinces me further that this is the right thing to do and that temporarily uprooting our family will be good for us in the end. But we will miss our beautiful house and our beloved, wonderful friends. Part of me aches that Colin will not know the town where we lived, the house where our family was born, the friends who cared for me and him and us while we were here. In moving, we are closing this door for him. I hope it is the right choice. As with everything now, we are doing it for him.