Monday, April 07, 2014

The Ghost of April Present

It is April and in so many ways I wish that weren’t true.

It’s not that I have anything against the fourth month of the year, in fact, my family has seen a lot of good Aprils: the April I travelled with The Baker’s class on an east coast field trip, the April we went to see the Yankees in New York, the April spring break adventures —good times, all.

And it’s not that this one is bad, in fact, it’s actually quite good. I love my job, I’m losing weight, my family is awesome.

In fact the good of my story is the whole reason I’m here at the threshold of the second week of the month kicking and screaming for this ride to just slow down for a minute; for someone to find a way to just make the calendar pages stop flipping so flipping fast, so I can just freeze things here, and now because I’m just not ready for the month to be May and for things to change forever.

Because that’s what’s happening, really. I pretend, as much as I can, that it’s not true, that this isn’t the last April ever, the last month ever of the life I’ve known, but it is.

See, my daughter, The Baker, is getting married. This is a good thing, especially because she’s marrying the guy I knew was right for her 4 years ago.  The one I never gave up hope for, even the day she told me that it was never going to happen, the day she said, “if you like him so much, why don’t you go out with him?”

I love my new son, and I know our family will stretch and morph and reshape itself to be something new, that our story will be remade and begin anew.  But first?  First, there’s a lot of lasts.

And I kind of have this thing about lasts.  The years when the kids were little I’d catch myself wondering, is this the last season they’ll play together on the same soccer team?  Is this the last time they’ll run the wagon down the alley? Is this the last science fair, the last sleepover, the last family vacation?

And now that we’ve had the last of all those things—some recognized (Vermont, 2012 was the last big family vacation) some not (no idea when the last sleepover happened)—the lasts have become both more basic (how many times will it ever be just the four of us around the dinner table) and more immediate (three weeks from today she moves out).

 I could easily fall into the habit of measuring the weight of each moment, trying to savor, observe, and recognize the significance in its passing, but the truth is much more mundane.  The reality is that we’re ripping through days like a category 4 hurricane and it’s impossible to breathe, let along sigh deeply in contemplative reverie. 

But sometimes, like tonight, things just seem normal, like they always have been. As soon as I realize it, though, the moment passes, like so many others before it. And all I can do is acknowledge that yes, this is the very last page of a long and wonderful story; a story that was destined, from the very first sentence of the very first page to end. But if it must end, I can’t think of a better way to wrap the narrative than with the current plotline, or a better cast of characters with which to begin the sequel.


Anonymous said...

They are also "firsts" : )

Willoughby said...

I think about those "lasts" a lot, myself. My oldest is now 21 and I was just thinking the other day, when was the last time he was small enough that I could still pick him up and carry him? My daughter is 14, so it's been a long time since I carried her, too, but she's petite so I still could if I wanted to! I don't think she would be too happy about it, though!


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