I remember when weeks used to feel like months and months like years. I was so impatient with life. I wanted to be a teenager, then I wanted to be an adult with her own house and money, then a mother and now…now I just want to slow life down.
I see the same impatience in my daughters. For the past week, Robin has asked when Halloween will come. “Is it tomorrow?” she asks every night. Maia is desperate to be 16, like her cousin. Never mind the fact that her cousin will be 22 by that time.
When Maia was Robin’s age, I couldn’t wait for her to grow out of her terrible threes (or fours). I was thoroughly exhausted by her seemingly endless tantrums. They were so frequent and violent in nature that I had resorted to tiptoeing around her, trying to preempt any situation which might trigger yet another meltdown. Sure enough, she outgrew that stage and I was able to start enjoying motherhood again. Then came another baby and another round of sleepless nights, many months of sickness thanks to an older school-aged sister and readjusting to having more than one child. Not long after came Ivy and, although she still wakes to drink twice or three times a night, it is the days that are doing me in. The mornings are quite manageable but the afternoons are manic. There is no other word to describe them. In fact, life as a whole feels a little manic right now.
Most days, the day is over after what feels like a couple of hours. It’s a blur of tedious housework that is never completely done, cooking, feeding, face-wiping, hair-brushing, separating fighting sisters, helping with homework, driving to and from activities and nappy changing. I look at some of my friends who also work outside the house and others who hold down a full-time job and are furthering their studies and I wonder how they manage to do it all. If I’m not careful, I can quickly slide down a spiral of self-pity that makes everything seem much bleaker than it really is.
So I turn to photos and also to this blog to remind me that I have much to be thankful for and also just to remind me what I did last week or this past year even. I was recently looking for photos of Maia’s early childhood so she could use them in a school project and I didn’t know where to look. Being married to a photographer has its downside. We own enough external hard drives to hold millions of photos but I don’t know where any of our family photos are. So I did the only thing I could think of. I turned to this blog and my Instagram account and I found all the photos I needed. I also found a treasure trove of memories I had forgotten. Knowing they are safely collected in one place is so comforting. As my friend Clare recently wrote, it is “a little bit of immortality”, especially for my daughters to look back on. The older two are lucky enough to have a few years documented for them, both on the blog and on paper diaries. Ivy, having been born into an already busy family, hasn’t had such luck yet.
Next thing I know, they’ll all be off to university. I’ll have plenty of time on my hands then to print out the thousands of Instagram photos and write memoirs (assuming I remember any of it!).