Feed on

I’m beginning to have time panic again. When I say “time panic,” I refer to the experience of being acutely aware of the passing of time and therefore not fully enjoying the moment you are in. It’s the experience of starting post-vacation let-down when you are still on vacation or dreading the end of a concert while you are still listening to it.

My current time panic is–of course–all about Simon. I last had this feeling when he was two weeks old. This weekend I again sensed that his first year is flying by and that nothing I can do will slow it down. The current time panic stands in sharp contrast to how I felt when I packed up Simon’s newborn and 0-3 month clothes earlier this winter. At that time, I was happy to see a month fly by because after the first eight weeks, each subsequent week brought a notable improvement in Simon’s mood. I was ready to put fussy days behind me and enjoy the next stage of babyhood. I was gung-ho.

Last Sunday I was back to packing up clothes again, only this time it was the smaller pieces in Simon’s 3-6 month wardrobe and the experience was much more bittersweet. I feel more connected to this wardrobe. I picked out most of those clothes myself, I chose them knowing what Simon looked like and would look good in, and I have happy memories of Simon in most of them because he had such giggly, happy days in most of them. They seem more a part of who is/was this winter than his generic newborn wardrobe ever did.

They now sit in boxes in his closet as a talisman of his happy young baby self. I tell myself I may use them again one day, but really I just feel better knowing this tangible reminder of the past few months is nearby.

The same day I was busy packing, Simon further reminded me that he is growing quickly by sitting up much better than he has before. First he enjoyed an extended sitting period in the Bumbo, then he tried out his high chair and banged on the tray like a champ. He can’t sit up on his own without some support yet, and he’s not yet on solid foods, but I can see that neither will be the case for much longer.

I am normally an impatient person who would be eager to jump ahead and learn who Simon will be as a toddler, boy, and man as soon as possible–just as I frequently read the end of books first to find out if reading the middle is worth it. During times like this, however, I’m all patience. I’m happy to keep the box of rice cereal unopened in the pantry. I’m happy to not open the jars of sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash I bought tonight. I’m happy to pull out the boxes of clothes and have Simon wear them just a little bit longer.

It makes me think of the Sandy Denny song:

“Across the evening sky
All the birds are leaving
But how can they know
It’s time for them to go?
Before the winter fire
I will still be dreaming
I do not count the time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?”

I certainly don’t know where the time goes. But I sure am counting it all the same.

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