Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Years Start Coming And They Don't Stop Coming

In the summer of 99 I graduated from college, got engaged, and took a trip to Winston-Salem, NC to visit Z’s family. As we drove around WS that summer the song All Star by Smash Mouth constantly played on the radio. It’s a fun song, but the reason I loved it was the lyric “The years start coming and they don’t stop coming”. It seemed like a rather poignant and almost melancholy thought inserted into a pop-y rock song.

I was 22 at the time. The years didn’t seem like they were going to fly by to me. I enjoyed the brief moment of longing and sadness in the song because I’ve always been a sucker for longing and sadness especially when they are inserted into seemingly fun and happy ditties.

Well. Here we are 11 years later and it turns out the years do start coming and then they do not stop coming. And I have the feeling I have no idea how fast they will continue to come. In a couple of days Z and I will have our 12th anniversary of our first meeting which turned into our first date and was also the first (and last) time I stayed up all night painting the town red. And in a few months we will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.

So there has been a lot of reminiscing going on at our house. Thankfully we’ve been focusing on the happy stuff. We’ve been over the sad stuff enough times so looking back at the good is a refreshing change.

All those distant memories feel even more distant now that we have T. His arrival has naturally changed everything. Change is so charged for me. I dreaded it when I was pregnant. I felt like I was in mourning for my youth and freedom. I knew one chapter of my life was coming to a close and that has never been easy for me. Change much smaller than having a child has undone me in the past. When we moved out of our first apartment in Williamsburg Brooklyn I stood in the empty living room on our last night there and wept. Z lived there when we met, I moved in within the year, we spent our engagement there and lived there when we were first married. It was the end of the beginning of our life together and I wasn’t ready to give it up.

While T was in my belly he also represented the end of a part of our lives. The problem was I felt like I had wasted that part being emotionally ill. I felt my chance to be young and selfish was coming to an end and I’d wasted it. I guess my fears were true, but thankfully I don’t care. T is worth it. And I’ll have different opportunities.

Most of my day is spent with T, and not just with him but touching him. There really is something magic about baby skin and baby smell. It is such a pleasure to run my hands over his unblemished perfect skin and smell his sweet and sweaty head when I hold him tight.

Next to T Zeke suddenly seems to be approaching middle age. And so do I. If we hadn’t had him I think we would have continued to think we were very young, both physically and in spirit. But when I kiss Z I notice how rough his skin now is. When I look at my hands I also notice a new roughness. We aren’t old fogies by any stretch of the imagination. But we aren’t kids any more. We don’t look like kids and we don’t have the concerns and problems of kids. And that’s OK. We are happier than we could have imagined as parents. And we still would have been approaching middle age if we hadn’t become parents. It would have just taken us longer to figure it out.

And anyway, the years start coming and they don’t stop coming so even if we weren’t happy with this phase another one is always on the way.

My boys hamming it up at a sheep shearing event.


  1. this reminds me of something my grandmother said, on the occasion of her 75th birthday, if i'm not mistaken. she looked at me and very deliberately (maybe i should say reflectively) said "time is passing, isn't it?" this october, she'll celebrate her 92nd. and time continues to pass.

  2. ah yes. that fabulous and sudden Time Warp as soon as you throw a babes into the mix. i was actually thinking about this the other day and i came up with a theory --> when you are childless, yer rate of personal growth/transformation is pretty much up to you. thus, *feasibly* you could remain "the same" year after year. once a child is around, they WILL grow or transform yearly (daily!) with or without yer permission. thus, speeding up time.
    i think i shall write a thesis on my time-baby continuum.
    what do you think?
    sending love and loving those pictures.

  3. i hear you about the Time Warp. i'm pregnant with my fourth and the fact that i have a 16 year old (almost) blows. my. mind.