Thursday, January 15, 2009

Time Capsule

Today was one of those photograph points in ever-moving time:  It was the birthday of my baby - her 21st birthday.  As I marveled at that, it occurred to me that my first baby will turn 30 in about 6 weeks time.  When did that happen?  Wasn't I only 30 myself just yesterday?!  

Age and time are funny things.  Not ha-ha funny; but 'odd', 'curious', 'strange', 'incomprehensible'.  Some years ago, I was having a conversation with Grandmother about getting older, and she was probably in her late 70's about the time.  Her observation on aging has always stuck with me, and this is what she said, "I'm always surprised when I look in the mirror and an old woman looks back at me!"  It just has a way of sneaking up on us, and I felt very snuck up on today.  

As these things were running constantly through my mind today, a funny thing happened.  This kind of funny was  'unexpected', 'surprising', 'poignant'.  While John and I were rearranging and cleaning the kids' old bedrooms so we can make them into useful guest rooms, I decided to open the old wicker trunk that had sat in Katie's room for years.  I had bought that trunk as a newlywed and it had served many purposes, but for the last many years it had been the "Dress-up Trunk" where the kids had kept dress-up clothes - and had apparently tossed in a few other things.

Among the first things I saw was the musical base for the crib mobile.  Did it still work?  I wound it up and it began playing Brahm's Lullaby just as if 30 years had never happened.  My heart began to melt and I continued searching through the trunk.  Some of the things I found were:
Eric's old flannel shirt that he literally lived in while a teen.
One of Kristin's ballet slippers, and some 80's era dresses.
Justin's pirate costume, and the little police vest that got us out of a ticket one time!
Katie's tiny ballet costume.
One of Mama's square-dancing petticoats that she gave the girls for dancing in.
Tiny little aprons and chef's hats that Aunt Anna made for Justin and Katie when they made cookies with her.
A vest that Aunt Anna had made for Kristin.
Kristin's YMCA Indian Princess vest.
Eric's knitted cowboy sweater that he had as a little boy.
A onesy sunsuit that Grandmother had made for Katie.
Justin's Boxwell t-shirt.
The remains of an electronic science experiment.
A sheriff's badge.
A Cub Scout belt.
A toy horse.
A rock.

So perhaps today, on the birthday of my youngest, the Lord gave me a gift: a living photograph of my children's lives.  But they themselves have been the best gift of all.


McClelland Family said... I can't say I didn't cry today!
I cried yesterday after going through the boys clothes to consign, and that was just from the past two years! Heaven help me in 30!
I have to say that I am grateful for a Mom and Dad who taught me how to love my boys as much as I do!!!

Amira Emad said...

This summer my mom and I were going through all my stuff for the same purpose of keeping my room a guest room. I was surprised too with how time had passed and seeing all my little journals from when I was too young to write, but instead, I would dictate and mom would write for me. And then seeing how now at 22 I'm still writing in journals...

At least though it just brings us closer to our Lord!

Aunt Ruth said...

Another great one. I looked through my archive of scanned photos that I keep on a backup external drive. A picture of Teresa and Dickey licking the spoon of frosting at Aunt Anna's, Geoff's kindergarten graduation, Dick feeding a porpoise, pictures of my parents, my siblings, my children and yes, of you and your children, all memories of long ago and yet so close in time and memory it is surprising it didn't really happen last week!

Teresa said...

A friend at work today confided that her son is joining the Air Force, pleased and proud and a little shy about it. So, of course, that gets me thinking of Eliot and Dewey and how our children are all grown up now, then I read this.....I think I hear "Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset" in the background....and my heart just swells with love for all of my family members. Love you.

Linda said...

Besides the Lord Himself, there are just no greater gifts than what you've all written about! We can be thankful people!

Anna said...

Aww, I'd forgotten those little chef outfits - they looked so cute in them. I need to do that for my grandchildren!! They will be so surprised (and you all will be too if I actually do it!). I did make pilgrim costumes for Emily and Andrew and Brooke, and pilgrim caps for Erin and Courtney and Jordan a couple of Thanksgivings ago. They all looked adorable, I thought!