Most days I know about the speed of sand, am intimately familiar with just how fast the grains slip through the hourglass. I catch the tail end of a spec catching golden sunlight as it spirals toward the ever-taller tower of passed moments, the cheek that moments before was plump reflecting new, darker light in unfamiliar hollows. Moments of clarity have led me to chronicle and savor rituals and to celebrate seemingly unremarkable moments.
Lately though, I’ve felt that despite my best efforts, way more air than sand has been catching in my hands. I have, surprise-surprise, lost sight of something for my desperate lunges for time.
It’s us. I am letting us slip through my fingers. So much of my life is about them, sweet, precious, beloved them. You would think that us would go right along with ours, that I would cling desperately to the moment in time that is now, parents, lovers and partners. If I were thinking I would sandwich in as many moments of us as possible and yet I don’t. I turn away at times as if to dally in the frothy excess of romance, of adult time, that it’s a penalty in my role as a mother. To hug daddy rather than to cuddle the girls is wrong, right?
Adult time while the girls are up is one thing, often an impossible thing. The din of vying for attention and clamoring for more— apple juice, drawing paper, piggy backing, whatever— it’s often not worth trying to talk over. Fine, we get that, but the nights? Post-bedtime, is that off limits too? Or is turning away for being too tired, too busy or too wrapped up in the Olympics another form of mommy-multi-tasking. Asleep at the wheel and letting NBC take the brunt of marital conversation.
I want these moments. I want to capture the charge of an unexpected spin in the kitchen, the way his hand feels against the small of my back. My body is strong from 5 years of lifting and swinging three kids and the ever-growing grocery hauls. I know my body, know the parts of me that make me proud and forgive the things I used to hide. He knows me, my god three kids and more if we’d wanted. He knows my body. He has studied the things that bring me joy and created new ones and along the way has smoothed surfaces I thought would stay eternally jagged.
When we dance it is with everything I remember watching breathlessly as a romantic teenager. He can cup my face in his hands and make me literally weak in the knees. He is my now and my forever. It is because of him, of us, that we have the very people making me so aware of the fleet nature of time. Why do I not chase the moments between us with the same ferocity? Is it not a good lesson for my daughters?
It’s time to make sure that as time has me on my knees I remember what’s important. This life of mine, treasured and dear, is more than my girls, more than my place as a mom, it’s my romance and my adventure. And so, I’ll end this night kissing my husband so that I can wake up tomorrow in the arms of the man of my dreams. We’ll sip coffee and smile at each other and when the girls cling to our legs and look up, we’ll kiss and they’ll giggle. And when they beg for more we’ll give it to them.
We all need us. Go catch some.
I’m struggling to do this. It all gets to me, the work and the work and the work. I must mother; that is an imperative. To remember that I NEED to be a wife is more difficult. Thank you for the reminder.
I think it’s very common for people to lose that, it takes an effort to hold onto it and keep it important and in the forefront of their lives. Lovely post reminding us all to appreciate and work on the relationships that matter most.
Oh, this is so beautiful. Really, truly heart-wrenching.
It is so true that the two people that started the family often get shuffled aside in the keeping of the family. You have to make a conscious effort to maintain both.
This is why I love to read you, Amanda. You reach right into my head and pull my thoughts out. Only you make them sound so much better.
Yes. Because they’re always watching us. Even more, because it’s where it all started. A good reminder.
Sometimes I feel that I run a parallel path to what goes on in your life. Things seem to happen at the same time. My road is right across from yours and every once in a while we see the same things. We appreciate the same things. We find difficulty with the same things. Thank you for sharing your world with me.