Friday, November 8, 2013

If you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you - sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever. ~ Lauren Oliver

My younger brother's first baby is due any day now, and the rest of the family daily guesses names and marvels at the idea that there will be a whole new person with us very soon.  The day my nephew was born, I wondered aloud to my mom how strange it was that I had just met him and already loved him so much.  "I'd never even laid eyes on him until today, and now it's hard to remember the family without him."  My mom replied with something along the lines of "Well, of course," but it was stunning to me how the heart instantly expands.  It's a girl, my brother and his wife have already announced, and I'm eager to feel, for the third time now, that rush of auntly love and surely-you've-somehow-been-here-with-us-all-along when I hold my new niece the first time.  
"Thirty-six," largely due to my younger brother's news, has been a year of nostalgia so far for me.  Each year now seems to fly by faster than the one before, and maybe because 2013 has had me looking both forward and backward even more than usual, I feel like I've lost track of this one somewhere along the way.  While I was home for my birthday in May, my sister-in-law announced her pregnancy.  When I went home in September, it was for the autumn-themed baby shower.  And next month's visit will find my younger brother now a parent.  I remember riding the hopital elevator up to the maternity unit the day he was born in 1982.  The next time I was visiting my hometown hospital's maternity unit, it was 2004 and my older brother had just become a dad.  And didn't all these things happen just yesterday?  No, really.  I don't understand anymore how time passes.  Lately the scene in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little Town on the Prairie keeps coming to mind in which Mrs. Bradley makes everyone in attendance cry on musical literary night by singing "Backward, turn backward, Oh Time in thy flight.  Make me a child again, just for tonight."  Picture me here pulling out my handkerchief along with Laura and Ma.  My younger brother is days away from being a dad.  Those who served as my former elementary school's principal, custodian, and secretary while I was a student there have all died this past year.  And all of this while I continue write, little by little, a memoir of my 1980s childhood.  "Those were nice years," my dad said of that time while I was home in September.  "You kids were all still pretty young, and Papa and Grandma were still alive. . . ."  My heart was almost too full to respond to him then, and it feels full-to-bursting now as I picture my once-Pound-Puppies-and-Connect-Four-loving brother with his wife and baby beside him this Thanksgiving.  "They were such good years," was all I managed to get out to Dad, and I want to pause here tonight and just sit quietly and look at my favorite pictures from this fall before any more of it passes passes and say "Thank You."  Because these are good years too.  


8 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Great post with wonderful photos Val.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving month, you are already well on the way.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Lisa said...

Nice pictures, Val; except I did cringe twice at the spiders, well once - the daddy longlegs wasn't so bad. :D

The way I understand it, the closer one is to God, the less one feels time speeding by, because to be with Him is to always be in the present moment. I've been trying harder lately to remember that.

You have a good memory - that's great.

NanaDiana said...

Great post- Congrats on a new baby coming. The pictures are great but the words are beautiful. xo Diana

NanaDiana said...

Great post- Congrats on a new baby coming. The pictures are great but the words are beautiful. xo Diana

Nellie said...

I love this post, Val. Your words and pictures give us much food for thought. Wishing your brother and his wife the best as they welcome a little girl to the world! Have a wonderful Friday, Val! xo Nellie

La Table De Nana said...

That little baby will change all:)

Happy for your parents..and you an auntie..what a lucky babe..
You have been busy Val!

GretchenJoanna said...

The spider pictures are great - the cat in the sun is fantastic...

Enjoy your auntiehood!

Val said...

Thank you all. :)

And GretchenJoanna, I'll leave you a note soon. You're reading one of my favorite books, I see from your blog: Crossing to Safety. ♥