Home thoughts on growing and the here-and-now

thoughts on growing and the here-and-now

by Shawni
The end of January found me with a gigantic mysterious broken blood vessel right under my eye, a cold sore, limping around because I fell HARD on a hike back on my birthday (good way to make you feel old as the hills), and I was sick as can be.  Chills and achy, coughy and sneezy.

The silver lining?  I got to lay low and try to catch up a little on one of my new years resolutions: to weed out old pictures and label batches I want to keep (which is a LOT).

The sad part?  gosh, I miss my babies!

I came across this old photo of me surrounded by my four girls:  

There isn’t anything overly fantastic about the picture itself but it drew me in.  I am THERE.  In the moment with those small girls gathered around me.  I’m not letting it pass me by.

And I wonder.

Did I do that enough?  Their constant tugging on my arm for more attention, their requests for me to read to them, to let them take over the video recording (those kids LOVED that thing!).  Did I look for moments alone with each of them, and did I take their cheeks in my palms and look into all those beautiful eyes enough?

I wish I could get even just that one moment back and hold them even closer.

I adored those moments in the middle of them.  Oh, I knew they were magic.

But it’s interesting how that magic becomes even more powerful over time as the nostalgia weaves it’s way heavy into my heart.

And the question is, how in the world did we go from that, to THIS:

Whoops, Grace is covered up in that one…here she is:

That happened in a blink.  
And THEN, I came across these pictures from EXACTLY ONE YEAR ago (on Friday) when we were standing at the airport wringing our hands in deep anticipation of our boy returning from his two-year adventure in Taiwan:
And suddenly there he was, that boy I started to wonder if really existed being so far away for so long on the other side of the planet, right in front of me in flesh and blood.

Welcome Home (shortened) from Aubrey Whitmore on Vimeo.

And now, one year later, that kid is MARRIED!

I’m not here for a sappy post.  Because sure, I miss the little “them.”

But the truth is, before I know it, pictures like these ones will be the ones I’m pouring over, willing time to give me just one more moment snuggled in:

(This was me and Grace after she hit “submit” on her last college application on Friday.)  And next year at this time she too will be off on her own kind of who-knows-what adventure.  And I will be so glad for all the times that are happening RIGHT NOW in front of me.  I’ll be saying, “gosh I miss my teenagers!…and [younger] adults!…and tweens!”

All those old memories I’ve been reminiscing, seemingly washed under the bridge, but really not.  Because those moments are what makes up the fabric of us.

And I like us and all that makes it us.

So I’ll love all the old moments like this:

Right along with the moments like this of the right here and right now:

Because they’re all weaving their golden threads into what makes “us.”

Let’s end these little thoughts with another one of my favorite quotes from A Place for Us (sorry I can’t stop on that gem).

“She was stunned, and stunned again by them [her children].  And her love for them.  How much had been lost?  How much had never made it into her memory?  Never made it into a photograph?  Let this moment make it, she prays.  Let each of them remember it too.”


We won’t ever remember all the moments.  But hopefully the moments, good and bad, way-back-when and right this very day, will help us continue to grow and love and learn and connect in beautiful ways.

15 comments

Leslie February 4, 2019 - 1:02 pm

I love this post so much. Thank you for these thoughts.

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theweckerlys February 4, 2019 - 3:10 pm

Oh I love this. Looking back at old photos is one of my favorite things.

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Amanda February 4, 2019 - 3:59 pm

Love this so much! And dad on his tip toes :):)

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Lauren February 4, 2019 - 4:08 pm

Oh my goodness, I'm in tears for the 500th time over that airport video. Which is so silly. But oh! the love!

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Amanda February 4, 2019 - 4:12 pm

I can not thank you enough for recommending A Place for Us. It was the most beautiful book. It had me captivated from the very first chapter. That quote speaks to my soul too. Thank you! I love this post so much!

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Shawni February 8, 2019 - 4:10 am

Oh makes me so happy when people read it…it is such a beautiful book.

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KittyLuvr February 4, 2019 - 4:31 pm

So beautifuly written! I had the same experience on Saturday as I watched my oldest host her own daughter's two year old birthday party! I thought back and tried to replay her two year old party in my mind..and wondered did I do enough!

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Shelly Cunningham February 4, 2019 - 7:36 pm

Crying, crying, crying at that airport video. Such a sweet, sweet reunion.
Thank you for the reminder to enjoy THIS MOMENT with my kids.

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Denise G. February 4, 2019 - 8:35 pm

Such a sweet post, Shauwni! I just finished A Place for Us last night and have a feeling it will stick with me forever. Such a touching book. Thank you so much for recommending it.

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Shawni February 8, 2019 - 4:11 am

Yes! I'm so glad you loved it.

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Lisa February 4, 2019 - 10:47 pm

I LOVE this post! {tears}

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Linda February 5, 2019 - 12:49 am

You must read “Educated,” a book about resiliency, family, faith and struggle. It’s non fiction, and the author is from a large fundamentalist Mormon family. I can’t stop thinking about it.

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Shawni February 8, 2019 - 4:12 am

That is a very interesting book! I wrote about a few of my thoughts on that one in the same post I wrote about "A Place for Us"…it's back here: http://www.71toes.com/2018/11/books-including-my-new-favorite.html

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Angela February 5, 2019 - 2:47 am

This is such a beautiful post. It makes me want to watch some old home videos of my kids, find some photos from when they were younger to put out on display, and just go and give my now big kids a squeeze and tell them that I love them. Thanks for reminding us what a privilege being a parent is.

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Lauren February 5, 2019 - 9:03 pm

I'm having some little tears at my desk right now – "She was stunned, and stunned again by them [her children]. And her love for them." I'm amazed EVERY day by my little 2.5 y/o – and just flabbergasted by my deep adoration for her.

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