Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Time Frames

One of my favorite pictures of my nieces and nephews—with all four present—is one taken at the hospital the day after Charlie was born. His big sister Meredith, just 6 at the time, is holding him; their cousins flank them: Amanda, 8, sits to their right, and Jonathan, 12, on the left. I think they are posing for someone else at the time, so instead of the staring into my camera, they are looking off to the side and it appears they’re just involved in a conversation. What comes through the most for me is how hopeful and happy the three older kids are, how genuinely excited they are for Charlie to have arrived.

I have the photograph framed in my entry hall, but Liz took that picture out over the weekend at Meredith’s 12th birthday party and it became a subject of conversation; I was reminded how much time has passed since that snapshot.

How Meredith and Amanda got from being 6 and 8 to being 12 and 14 is a blur. One day we’re telling stories by the pool, taking turns building them together (“once up a time there was a house made of chocolate”…”okay, my turn!"...), and now life is told in text messages and conversations rarely are about make-believe. Jonathan is 18 now, so our conversations are different from those I have with the girls—partly because he’s a boy young man, but mainly because he’s getting ready to graduate and head off to college in the fall. I hardly remember him as 12, but it seems like just yesterday his smiling face greeted me when I moved back from Boston. “You’re not gonna live in Boston anymore?,” he asked, with the same excitement he and all the girls had when Charlie was born.
Charlie and me...years ago already

 And Charlie? He is 5 now, almost 6. He read stories to me the other day before we played with blocks the morning after the party while everyone else was sleeping. I see now in him that innocent hope and happiness, pure and unhurt...and I wish I could freeze him in time.


Tam said...

Beautiful picture...beautiful memories. So well written :)

Amy said...

Tempus fugit, indeed. Nice post.

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