Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Thoughts

Cars on the track at Daytona.  Pitchers and catchers report to Lakeland, FL.  The spring season for baseball is starting and Nascar is about to resume after a short winter's nap.  And we are about to leave another bout of the "Deep Freeze" of Michigan, 2011, behind.  As the sun rises on another pretty winter morning here, I wonder if next week when the temperatures are to hit in the 40's and beyond, if I will then complain about "dirty snow", slush and the mud that inevitably will appear.  It is after all, only February here in Michigan so we will not see spring anytime soon, but I guess a change from the Dr. Zhivago like crystal frozen beauty that has been us this past week to a change for the warmer will be welcome, though I will likely complain about that also. 

I try to head outside at least once a day with the dogs to walk them as braving the cold always makes me feel energized when I come back in and ready to tackle something new.  Whether I actually accomplish anything remains to be seen but at the least, I feel like I may.  This week it has been sorting and labeling old photographs that have never found their way into an album.  They go back as far as 2002, and were just thrown in the "Album cupboard" awaiting placement in an album which somehow never occurred.  The closer we have come to the present days, the less pictures I have in printed form as most I just now save to the computer or on a cd.  So, I know my labeling and cataloging is nearing its end at around 2007.  Inevitably when I tire of figuring out the years of some pictures, I pull out an old album, mostly from when my kids were just and even babies and I think how unconcerned we all look in those pictures.  There is one that is a favorite of mine at Sand Lake when my grandparents still owned the cottage there.  Annie was just over a year old.  That year she had a pink bathing suit with ruffles across her bottom.  We have several of her marching along the beach with usually Grandma in tow in case she fell over and into the water, which she did often and with seemingly little care, as we would pluck her out, stand her upright, no tears, no crying, and she would just start walking again.  But in this picture she is laying between my legs, while we both sit on an old quilted blanket.  I am brushing sand from her hair and she is calmly eating an oreo cookie that probably has more sand in it then anything else.  I am drawn, as I reexamine this picture after all these years, at the simplicity of the scene and the trusting nature of my daughter as she calmly lays against me, and the almost casual way my hand is resting just above her head, a gesture so common I do it with half a mind I am sure, my attention elsewhere, but one so trusting in the mother-child relationship.  I wonder now as I have wondered often when did that complete trust in "Mom" leave my children and cause them to venture out on their own?  It happens to every parent and child, but for that frozen moment it is captured so vividly for me.  Soon I will hold a grandchild and embark on that wonderful journey of a grandma and I wonder what moments will be frozen in time for me then.  I hope my mind can conjure all the wonderful ones that await me and I can enjoy each one in its wholeness.

I lingered over the albums for three days enjoying going back in time to a place that seems so much simpler now, though I know it wasn't.  I know I was overstressed with being a young parent, and trying to live on one wage and all of the unknown's of raising children in a society radically different than my parents raised me.  It is now through the lens of time, that I know my children will think the same of my grandchildren.  But somehow, it just all seems so much simpler then, diluted now to wonderful color pictures of babies and toddlers doing the wonderful things they do, that I was lucky enough to capture on film and now decades later marvel at once again.  I remember so few of these things now and ask myself, did that really happen?  Did I actually have three babies at one time and did I somehow navigate them through life?  They grew up and now those baby years are so precious, and it is the one thing if I could do over I would in a heartbeat.  Just a few days, weeks, months of them as babies with their lives, (and mine), spread out before us....

Time for a change in the weather and time to close up the albums for a bit and look to tearing down wallpaper, as the new has finally arrived and that's a story for a different day.....

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