Sunday, August 17, 2008

All Dressed Up

Today I had planned to have some pictures taken of Phoebe and I as a one-year anniversary present for Geoff. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned, which I should have anticipated given these plans involved my 2 month old daughter.

So today I managed to get my hair somewhat presentable, put on a decent amount of makeup and not get baby spit-up on myself. Phoebe was awake all day long, which meant no naps for us (which hurt me more than it hurt her, I assure you) and I felt insurmountable pressure because this was a present and -- therefore -- a surprise for Geoff (who was busily conducting his fantasy football draft and has, clearly, since been let in on the jig which is -- by now, of course-- up).

Thanks to a sleepy baby, Geoff's draft finishing earlier than anticipated and my photographer friend's cold medicine making him drowsy, we didn't get to do our session. And I was really disappointed. Moreso than I even thought when we decided it just wasn't going to work today.

What I really think disappoints me most is I was hoping to save forever a moment in time.

Having a child makes me want to stop time. And I almost believe I am able to do so by continually taking pictures of her. As if having the pictures when she eventually grows up and moves on in her life will somehow ease the blow. Or that she will never grow up because I've saved her forever on a piece of paper that will always be mine. Always be the age she is right now.

My friend Kim said Phoebe is going to learn to talk at 6 months just so she can say "Enough with the photographs already, mom". And she may be right.

But I want so badly to stop the movement forward and to keep things the way they are right now. Or the way they were 2 months ago the day she was born. Before time did what it does and moved forward.

I'm not sure if I read this once, or if it was my own thought, but I wrote down in an old journal of mine that the curse of Eve is not the pain of childbirth -- which is fleeting -- but the pain of knowing the children you have will leave one day and were never really yours to begin with.

The thing is that is what they are supposed to do: grow up. Become independent. Live their lives. And it's healthy. And good.

I can almost squint my eyes and pretend that things will remain the way they are now -- I will always be 30. She will always fit in my arms in our little rocking chair. And she will never get mad at me. Never be too busy to visit. Never get irritated at my advice or my love.

I want to keep her all to myself because if anyone else sees her, they'll say how big she's gotten. Old women look at her and say "I forgot how small they are." And I want to tell them to shush. I don't want to hear it. I want to experience every minute for myself and not be reminded of the inevitable.

That one day I'll hold a baby and say "I forgot how small they are." I am dragging my feet and it's not working.

You can't take a day and squeeze out every drop and save in a jar for later. Life does not allow us anything more than memories. And even those fade as much as we try to hold onto them.

And so I take pictures when I can. I write about her when I can. I try and memorize her face and her toes and the smell of her head. Oh how I wish I could bottle the smell of her because I know that one day -- too soon -- it will be gone.

So I try and capture the moments without missing the moments themselves. Even now I find myself looking at her pictures while she's sleeping.

I want to look at her as she is right now, but I'm all too aware that the right now is constantly shifting and moving forward. And there's nothing at all anyone can do about it.

Even though our day did not go as planned, we did get to spend the time together. And that is something I hope to remember.

So I took a picture before I put her down to sleep.

1 comment:

Annie said...

*tear* Who needs a professional anyway, that picture is great :)