Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We Can't Fence Time

When did they grow up? Just look...

This is Baxter in December 2003:

Here he is now at five years old:

Here's Pinot just five months ago:

And here she is now:

Where has the time gone?

Many of you know DD, Sarah, is marrying the love of her life (and a gem of a young man!) in June (January was neck deep with fun, make-you-smile-but-thoroughly-stressful wedding plans, most of which are behind us now). She'll be moving to Maine in July with her by-then husband where they'll carve a new life together.

My sweet baby girl isn't a baby any more.

Neither are my sons. And they all deal with real-life, grown-up issues:

  • an on-line friend of my youngest son committed suicide a few days ago
  • all three kids wrestle with how they'll find jobs/careers sufficient to pay even basic living expenses
  • all three feel pressure to know who and what they should be NOW (not from us, mind you, but from driven peers and a productivity-oriented culture)
  • all three have faced adult-sized loneliness, fear, confusion, and self-doubt -- this at a time when life should still be carefree

Somehow, my siblings grew up, too (when did that happen, since I'm really still a late-teen-or-early-twenty-something myself, eh?). Between the four of us (me, my twin sister, and my two older brothers), we've dealt with some pretty big, very grown-up, adult-sized issues:

  • diagnosed mental-health issues
  • other health issues
  • hospitalizations
  • marital separations/conflicts
  • joblessness
  • financial pressure
  • kids or spouses with serious medical issues or disabilities
  • childlessness
  • estrangements
  • legal issues
  • lost dreams
  • death, death, and death again
  • adult-sized loneliness, fear, confusion, and self-doubt -- this at a time when we're all supposed to have it figured out (didn't our parents by now???)

I don't want this stuff to be part of my life or my adulthood. I don't want it to be part of my kids' lives now or ever. I don't want to ache for loved ones or weep over the challenges my loved ones face.

Yet I can't fence time; I can't keep any of us from moving forward into our unfolding lives, whatever they hold, all of which come complete with tough stuff and less-than-ideal circumstances.

Oh how I wish I could capture childhood innocence, oblivion, resiliency, and freedom, and then live there forever.

But I can't. I never will.

Ah-ha...but Labs can. And do. :o)

They live in the perpetual, carefree moment, never regretting the past or fretting the future.

For them it's always an isn't-life-grand present.

And maybe that's why they make me smile so much. Maybe that's why they bring such joy to my heart and soul.

They remind that no matter how bad it gets, there's always something left worth living for, being thankful about, and over which I can still smile.

How can you look at a face like this and not smile right along?

What a goof!

Here's to remembering to smile, no matter what this day holds.

'Til next time,



maureen said...

How right you are....we never know what life is going to bring us our pets can make every day a little better. I enjoyed your thoughts!

Mary said...

I smile at my Lab every single day because she is so goofy as Labs can only be. I hope you have a loving Valentine's Day and may life only bring you happiness.

Charlie said...

So true!

kaps said...


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JuliaR said...

I love both Baxter's and Ridge's expressions. But you're right - you can't help but smile at that one of Ridge.