Wednesday, September 17, 2008

in the home stretch

>study in time flying: Audrey 6 mos vs. Audrey 3 yrs.

I realized mid-email tonight that 3/4 of this year is over. Gone, done, past, bye-bye. I took my daughter out tonight on a girl-date with a few of our girlfriends, and watched Audrey acting like a little girl. She's just not a baby anymore. She insisted on sitting in a highchair at the ice cream parlor for some reason, and spilled some of her lime-green ice cream on the floor, but she's not a baby any more. At least I could still read her stories tonight and tuck her in bed and know she'd be asleep in a few minutes. My son Jude is getting so big he insists on reading stories to me or worse, just to himself, and climbs into his bunkbed and tries not to sleep for the next hour in case we watch TV.

Today I also visited my grandma on our weekly trek to her care home. My grandfather passed away when Jude was a month old, and I don't think any of us thought she'd survive this long. She turns 94 this December, and has Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and slowly advancing kidney failure. She had a bandage on from trying to punch one of the caregivers last weekend - my kind, sweet-tempered, wouldn't-say-boo-to-anyone Grandma! - and I just listened to her try to remember the right sequence of words for saying grace before lunch, and watched her doze off while we worked a puzzle, and couldn't help laughing with her when she shook with laughter at Audrey making silly kissy faces during lunch. She is not the Grandma I used to know - the one that created a thriving vegetable garden from the sandy Yuma soil in their backyard, and used to fry up cornmeal-battered catfish like nobody's business. But I also never know when she may be gone forever, so for the memories, and the hope that she is comforted even on days she doesn't seem to remember us, and for my kids to know what it's like to love someone just because, and a hope that someone will visit me if ever I am in such a position, we keep going. And the weeks go by.

Yesterday I noticed my friend Sylvia has been secretly expanding with her unborn baby - number three, due next February. I forget she is pregnant sometimes, with this baby. I think she forgets she is pregnant, sometimes. Poor third babies, I think. At least Sylvia is one of those intentional moms that saves cute artwork and takes pictures and writes down the mile-markers of baby's first year.

Another marker of time passing. Victor turns 41 this weekend. No birthday bash this year (sorry, sweetie, last year was the big one!), but maybe a new gas grill for the backyard if he's lucky.

Lastly, I have two weeks left to my marathon in St. George, UT. October 4, the big day, draws nigh. The website (, of course) lists 16 days, 8hours, 33min and counting. Yikes! Actually, I feel very physically ready for the marathon - long runs, speedwork, weights, and the half marathon 2 weeks ago all indicate a good race. (And now I finally get to taper!) But I feel not at all ready for the camping trip in Zion National Park to follow, which requires more logisticial preparation of grocery shopping, gear-checking, vehicle tuning, and packing. I hope we can fit everything in the truck. Nissan Pathfinders are not the roomiest of SUV's, especially with 2 kids and their bulky carseats taking up the back seat. And all their books, and their latest favorite toys, and Blankie and "Robey" and Bear (of course!), and you get the picture, I guess. Then there's Victor's fishing gear. I'm hoping he's not planning to bring his flyfishing float tube, for instance.

All of these updates simply to observe that time sure flies, whether you have fun or not. I just want to be present enough in the moment to notice the little things - like my daughter's shy smile when she whispers which dress she wants to wear "so everyone will know I am a princess;" and my Grandma shaking with laughter till the tears run down from her reddened eyes onto lined cheeks; and my husband's attempt to be nonchalant when he tells me what he wants for his birthday "if anyone asks;" and the seconds ticking away on the marathon website, inviting me to watch the moments pass. Please, God, let me not miss these things in my anxiety over the past I can't change and my hopes for the uncertain future.

1 comment:

Karen Reyburn said...

Dear sis

You brought tears to my eyes with that post. And thanks for the photos of Audrey - I miss them more every year.

Love to you