This past weekend Rylie turned over the 18 month mark. As any mama would tell you, that time has flown faster than seems possible. I couldn't believe my eyes as I watched my bald baby bird chasing her 4-year-old cousin through the museum yesterday. I went through all of our photos this morning, which is always a very sentimental exercise for me, and picked out some from her first 18 months.
It seems that I am the type that takes oh so many photos (sometimes it is downright ridiculous) and most of the buzz happens in the moments and days after we have just captured the shots. We take a photo and then we have to look at it on the screen to see if the light and framing are to our liking. We get them home and download the card to the computer and look through them again, we ooh and aah and talk about our plans of printing them at large format, framing them and hanging them on the wall. And we never do. Days and weeks pass and we forget about those photos because on the River of Us Three - we have definitely hit the rapids - we are in kayaks not intertubes. We don't forget them out of apathy, but more because those wonderful moments are replaced with more wonderful moments that we want to hang on the wall. One of these days we are going to get down to decision making (someday very soon.)
But what these photos do is remind me of the impermanence of all things, the fleeting nature of babyhood, childhood, time. They help me to reframe the snaphot of my life and remember that Rylie will not be this little forever, that our time right now will someday be photographs and memories, and there truly is a time for everything. They help me remember what it was like here, now, in this apartment, on this street, in this city in California. They remind me to be present every moment, or as much as I possibly can, and to guard my gratitude because we are so, so blessed.
As Rylie is officially now closer to two years than one, it makes me marvel at the passage of time and the wonderful miracle of life. How with a little help from mom and dad, her body knows just what to do to grow and thrive. Becoming a parent has helped me to re-evaluate what is important and that life is truly a gift not to be squandered or taken for granted. Little Rylie pants is running, cutting molars, expanding her vocabulary, sprouting hair, demonstrating her will and last week used her potty for the very first time. When she wakes in the morning and from her naps, she no longer cries, she just yells an emphatic "Mom!" She is growing, changing, and I am here, present, enjoying the now and holding back tears as I sift through the photographed moments we have already sailed right through.